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Document Retention Policy

Document Type Retention Period Location
Accounts payable ledgers and schedules 10 years
Accounts receivable ledgers and schedules 10 years
Audit reports of accountants Permanently
Bank statements 10 years
Capital stock and bond records: ledgers, transfer payments, stubs showing issues, record of interest coupon, options, etc. Permanently
Cash books 10 years
Checks (canceled, with exception below) 10 years
Checks (canceled, for important payments; i.e., taxes, purchase of property, special contracts, etc. [checks should be filed with the papers pertaining to the underlying transaction]) Permanently
Contracts and leases (expired) 10 years
Contracts and leases still in effect Permanently
Correspondence, general 4 years
Correspondence (legal and important matters) Permanently
Depreciation schedules 10 years
Donation records of endowment funds and of significant restricted funds Permanently
Donation records, other 10 years
Duplicate deposit slips 10 years
Employee personnel records (after termination) 7 years
Employment applications 3 years
Expense analyses and expense distribution schedules (includes allowance and reimbursement of employees, officers, etc., for travel and other expenses 10 years
Financial statements (end-of-year) Permanently
General ledgers and end-of-year statements Permanently
Insurance policies (expired) Permanently
Insurance records, current accident reports, claims, policies, etc. Permanently
Internal reports, miscellaneous 3 years
Inventories of products, materials, supplies 10 years
Invoices to customers 10 years
Invoices from vendors 10 years
Journals 10 years
Minute books of Board of Directors, including Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation Permanently
Payroll records and summaries, including payments to pensioners 10 years
Purchase orders 3 years
Sales records 10 years
Scrap and salvage records 10 years
Subsidiary ledgers 10 years
Tax returns and worksheets, revenue agents' reports, and other documents relating to determination of tax liability Permanently
Time sheets and cards 10 years
Voucher register and schedules 10 years
Volunteer records 3 years

Warning: All permitted document destruction shall be halted if the organization is being investigated by a governmental law enforcement agency, and routine destruction shall not be resumed without the written approval of legal counsel or the President of the Board of Directors.

Note: Donation records include a written agreement between the donor and the charity with regard to any contribution, an email communication or notes of or recordings of an oral discussion between the charity and the donor where the representative of the charity made representations to the donor with regard to the contribution on which the donor may have relied in making the gift.

Document Retention Policy v1.0, September 3, 2014
Based on a model document retention policy for non-profits written by Thomas Silk on a pro-bono basis and made available for all non-profits.