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Financial Records

When and How To Dispose of Financial Records

Business financial records include any corporate accounts statements, audits, forms and activity related to these procedures. Some of these documents may overlap with categories found in other sections within this guide.

Suggested Retention Duration for Select Financial Records

Document Type Suggested Minimum Retention
Accounts receivable, accounts payable ledgers and schedules 7 years
Audit reports Permanently
Bank statements, electronic funds transfer documents, deposit records, cancelled checks 7 years
Chart of accounts Permanently
Checks for large or crucial purchases Permanently
Correspondence with vendors and customers 2 years
Deeds, bills of sale, mortgages for held assets Permanently
Depreciation schedules and reports Permanently
Donations 7 years
Year-end financial statements Permanently
Garnishments 7 years
General business/finance ledgers, year-end trial balance Permanently
Government grants (funded) 7 years after final closure
Insurance policies 3 years after expiration
Insurance records such as claims, accident reports, settlements Permanently
Internal audit reports 3 years
Invoices to customers or from vendors 7 years
Inventory records 7 years
Loan documentation Permanently
Patents, copyrights, trademarks and related documentation Permanently
Petty cash vouchers 3 years
Property/asset appraisals Permanently until sale
Property blueprints and utility diagrams Permanently until sale
Purchase orders 7 years
Sales records 7 years
Corporate tax returns and worksheets Permanently
Timekeeping sheets, books, cards, etc. 7 years
Receipts and vouchers of payment to employees or vendors 7 years
Payroll tax withholding statements 7 years
Documentation of workers compensation claims 10 years after final settlement

Disposing of Financial Records Properly

Once the decided retention duration has passed according to your retention schedule, organizations are strongly recommended to completely destroy all financial documentation through a secure, transparent process.

This process will be identical to the recommended guidelines for secure document destruction found on the How to Dispose of Contracts page.

Different processes are outlined in paper and digital materials.

Other Documents

A similar table will be provided in the corresponding sections for:

Important note: This list is only meant as a general guideline, not a substitute for legal advice. Consult your CPA or a New York business attorney for specific advice on best practices and legal compliance requirements.


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