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Records Retention/Destruction - Financial Records

Revised: July 1, 2007

Also refer to Signature Authority Policy

Table of Contents

Records Retention/Destruction Policy
Responsibility for Records Retention
Purpose
Storage Methods
Financial Records Retained
Obtaining Records
Records Destruction Methods
Additional Information


Records retention / destruction policy

The University retains its financial records for seven years. Records are stored on-site at the University or externally with a document management company. Documents containing salary information, social security numbers, taxpayer identification numbers, and/or other confidential information (such as bank account and credit card numbers) must be secured while retained and shredded when destroyed.

Responsibility for records retention

Retention is the responsibility of a central administrative office (i.e., payroll, financial reporting, accounts payable, purchasing, etc.). Individual University departments are not required, nor encouraged, to maintain copies of financial records.

Purpose

The purpose for retaining records enables the University to comply with governmental regulations, respond to auditors' questions, and provides those responsible for the management of accounts with the means to monitor transactions and resolve problems.

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Storage methods

Records are to be protected against unauthorized access and loss (fire, flood, theft, etc.) in a secure area. Storage with off-site records storage companies is permitted.

Financial records retained

Examples of financial records retained by Business & Finance are:

  • award letters (grants),
  • contracts,
  • journal entries,
  • original invoices,
  • original receipts,
  • 1099s,
  • timesheets,
  • time and effort reports,
  • W-2s.

Obtaining records

Contact the appropriate department to obtain a copy of the record (see below). Minimum lead times are one business day for records stored on-site and three business days for records stored off-site.

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Records destruction methods

Methods for record destruction are:

  • utilizing a shredder, or
  • utilizing a bonded external business record destruction firm (obtain records destruction certification and retain two years).

Note: Contact the Purchasing Department for assistance with purchasing a shredder or contracting with a bonded external business record destruction firm.

Additional information

Contact the following departments for additional information:

Record Contact
Award Letter Sponsored Programs
Contracts Puchasing Department
Journal Entries Financial Reporting
Original Invoices Accounts Payable
Original Receipts Financial Reporting
1099s Accounts Payable
Timesheets Payroll Department
Time and effort reports Sponsored Programs
W-2s Payroll Department