Retention of Accounting Records
One of the most frequent questions we get asked by clients is “How long we should retain our accounting records?”
This is clearly an important issue because, regardless of whether they are in paper form, electronic form or some other form, the longer they have to be kept the more expensive it is for the organisation.
The actual period records are kept will depend on a number of factors including:
- Legal and related requirements
- The organisation’s own need to access the document
- Historical value.
Each type of document needs to be assessed separately. In the case of many types of document, it will be sufficient to keep them only for the period required by statute; others will be essential reference material in future years and the organisation might, therefore, decide to keep them longer than the period required by law. The downloable pdf document on the right contains tables in which we set out the suggested retention period for the documents most commonly held by charities and give a brief explanation of the retention period given.