Understanding Financial Record Retention

LAST UPDATED: October 4, 2018

What You Should Know

In conjunction with the Office of Audit and Compliance and University Records Management, the Office of Finance and Treasury has defined financial record retention guidelines.

Financial Record Retention provides a description, storage, and retention information for each type of financial document. For each document type, the associated Office of Record is responsible for maintenance and timely destruction of documents. If your department is not the Office of Record, it is best not to retain copies in your department, but access the documents via the Office of Record and method provided. Should you need assistance accessing financial documents, contact the Financial Service Center.

Departments that hold copies of records managed by another Office of Record should destroy the records as soon as the records are no longer needed, and must destroy them within 2 years.

If your department maintains financial records in a paper-based (file cabinet) or online (Sharepoint site, share drive, OnBase) method, consult with the Office of Finance and Treasury to review and confirm what is required. The Office of Finance and Treasury may be able to assist you with a document storage and retention strategy.

Prime and Financial Record Retention

The Office of Finance and Treasury is the office of record for many financial document types including those listed below. Individual departments are not expected to maintain these records, but to entrust the Office of Finance and Treasury to maintain them according to established record retention policies.

As part of the Prime initiative, the Office of Finance and Treasury created a centralized online repository for financial documents. Starting in Fiscal Year 2015 (on July 1, 2014), the Office of Finance and Treasury will store all financial records in its care in this online repository, beginning a gradual transition from paper to electronic files. The technological transition to a fully centralized retention model will take six years to complete. Learn how to View and Attach Prime documents.

The following is a list of documents which are maintained in the central online repository by the Office of Finance and Treasury:

  • Journals and supporting documentation
  • Supplier Records – includes New Supplier Requests and associated documents.
  • Supplier Contracts - includes all contracts with suppliers, including independent contractor determination forms and agreements. Contracts are considered to be active for the duration of the contract plus renewals.
  • Purchase Orders and associated documentation
  • Invoices
  • Receipts for goods shipped
  • Vouchers and supporting documentation
  • Supplier Contracts
  • Sponsored Research Financial Accounting Supporting Documentation
  • Sponsored Research Accounting Records
  • Account Reconciliations (Balance Sheets) – Journals
  • Chart of Accounts Management
  • Gift and Planned Giving Records – Restricted Funds
  • Individual Expense Reports (Individual Travel Card) and associated receipts for transactions >$50.
  • Statement Reports (Departmental Purchasing Card) and associated receipts for transactions >$50.



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