RO Retention

RO Retention

Postby zekensted » Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:58 pm

We are a small GM dealer, and have never been audited beyond sending our Service Rep 10 or 15 customer files to review. We currently keep the signed customer copy, the hard copy with sublet bills, and a warranty copy in a file, by vin. Accounting keeps an acounting copy, filed by ro number. We are nowhere close to an ERO system or paperless of any kind. Three part question:
1)GM says we need to keep 2 years of documents. State law says one. Our GM rep says state law is what counts, and our state rep says the same. Would you keep only the minimum - 1 year? Or, would you try to avoid a fight with an auditor if ever we get one, and keep 2 years?
2)Can we file all service ro's by ro # instead of by vin? Would be alot easier and still could find whatever we need fairly quickly.
3) If we can pull up an accounting copy from our computer system at any time, and since service reprints an accounting copy to use as a warranty copy, and our month end books show how each ro was posted, do we need an accounting copy in the office filed by ro number? Is there a GM requirement for that?


RO Retention

Postby robc » Tue Dec 26, 2006 3:08 pm


1) First "retention" and "ability to audit" are two different things. The state likely says that GM can't go back longer than a year from payment date, they usually do not make recommendations for record retention. State law trumps and every GM auditor should know that. In fact, GM provides all auditors with a briefing of the state laws. That being said the potential liability for keeping the records longer is so small that it really doesn't matter if you keep them or not.

2) I prefer to file history by RO order. If you can quickly assemble a history folder then it should be no big deal. However, auditors hate this - especially GM auditors. You are better off to stay with traditional history files.

3) The accounting copy is not necessarily a GM requirement as much as it is a state tax and IRS one. Without some serious archiving ability I would never recommend that ditching an accounting copy. being able to reprint a RO for the IRS from 7 years ago is a little tougher than just going to a stack and finding it. Plus who knows if your DMS will even exist in 7 years.

== Rob ==

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