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|
|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|
|Year-end financial statements||Permanently|
|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|
|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 for paper and digital materials.
A similar table will be provided in the corresponding sections for:
- Corporate Records
- Business Taxes Records
- Personnel Records
- Management Plans and Procedures
- Donor Records
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.