Finance

Data Retention Periods

Financial records and Procurement records retention periods.

Financial Records Retention Schedule for Budget Holders

  1. The term financial records covers not only accounting records such as vouchers, authorities, schedules and computer records, but also financial management records and policy papers supporting and justifying financial transactions. The retention periods relate to primary documents rather than photocopies and are largely held in the Finance Department. However, some source documents, in particular purchase invoices on FPM are held in Schools and should follow the retention guidelines outlined below. 
  2. Set out below are our legally required retention schedule for financial documents. This should be read in conjunction with information available for departmental document retention periods published by records management.
  3. Retention periods are subject to the requirements of specific legislation but as a general rule retention periods for financial records should comply with those indicated below. These currently indicate that financial records should normally be retained for 6 years plus current year.
  4. Extended retention of financial records may be necessary to enable the handling of late claims or the settling of disputes.
  5. Guidance on the retention of records relating to VAT is set out in the HM Customs and Revenue Notice 700/21.
  6. The position on EU related payments is covered by specific provisions in EC law. Essentially all the supporting documents regarding expenditure and checks on the operation must be retained for a period of 3 years following the last payment in respect of any operation. Payments could conceivably continue for 3 or 4 years beyond a programme end-date so the period for which documents should be retained could extend to 7 or 8 years for a 3-year programme and possibly to 10 or 11 years for a 6-year programme.
  7. Other provisions of EC law require financial documents in relation to "Guarantee" spending to be kept for a period of one year following the clearance of Member State Accounts by the Commission for the year in which the relevant payments were made.

Financial Records Retention Schedule 

A.      FINANCIAL RECORDS Retention Periods  

Records  
Recommended Retention Period for Budget Holders
1. Budget reports (monitoring of actual against planned expenditure) Retain current financial year + 1 year. Finance retains annual management accounts for CFY + 3 years.
2. Credit card terminal receipts Retain current financial year + 6 years. Relevant legislation: VAT Act 1994.
3. Credit notes (copies) Paper : Retain current financial year + 1 year,

Electronic :   if credit notes are held electronically the paper copy can be destroyed and the electronic record can be deleted once the document is successfully uploaded to the finance system 

Finance retains records for CFY + 6 years.

4. Credit note requisitions Paper : Retain current financial year + 1 year, if electronic delete once successfully uploaded to the finance system.  Finance retains records for CFY + 6 years.
5. Delivery notes Paper : Retain current financial year + 6 years. Relevant legislation: VAT Act 1994
6. Expense paper claims and receipts  Paper : Retain current financial year + 1 year

Electronic :   if receipts held electronically the paper copy can be destroyed and electronic record can be deleted once the document is successfully uploaded to the finance system 

Finance retains original records for CFY + 6 years or longer if archiving programme not available. 

             a. Old eExpenses system Finance retains original records for CFY + 6 years or longer if archiving programme not available.
             b. New eExpenses system  Paper : Retain current financial year + 1 year

Electronic : if receipts held electronically the paper copy can be destroyed and electronic record can be deleted once the document is successfully uploaded to the finance system  

Finance retains electronic copies to be retained in perpetuity (via document management solution). NB: Original receipts/claim backup documentation may require to be retained for a longer period of time, and specifically by the School/College, if it relates to research projects or for tax purposes. 

7. Financial forecasts Retain current financial year + 3 years.
8. Goods received notes (GRN) Paper : Retain current financial year + 6 years. Relevant legislation: VAT Act 1994.

Electronic :  if GRNs are held electronically the paper copy can be destroyed but electronic record must be stored locally as these documents are not uploaded to the finance system 

9. Invoices (copies)/Payment Vouchers Paper : Retain current financial year + 1 year.

Electronic : if the invoice is held electronically the paper copy can be destroyed and electronic record can be deleted once the document is successfully uploaded to the finance system  

Finance retains original records for CFY + 6 years.

10. Invoice requisitions Retain current financial year + 1 year. Finance retains records for CFY + 6 years.
11. Journals/general ledgers Retain current financial year + 6 years. Relevant legislation: VAT Act 1994.
12. Overtime claims (copies) Retain current financial year + 1 year. Finance retains original records for CFY + 6 years.
13. Paying-in/remittance records/vouchers (recording money    paid by departments into Finance’s cashier) Retain current financial year + 1 year. Finance retains records for CFY + 6 years.
14. Petty cash claims/petty cash flow reconciliations Retain current financial year + 1 year. Finance retains records for CFY + 6 years.
15. Purchase orders (copies) Retain current financial year + 1 year. Finance retains records for CFY + 6 years.
16. Purchase requisitions (authorisation of purchasing) Retain current financial year + 1 year. Finance retains records for CFY + 6 years.
17. Receipts/receipt books Retain current financial year + 6 years. Relevant legislation: VAT Act 1994.
18. Stock inventories Retain current financial year + 6 years. Relevant legislation: VAT Act 1994.
19. Till rolls Retain current financial year + 6 years. Relevant   legislation: VAT Act 1994.
 20. Timesheets Retain current financial year + 1 year. Finance retains records for CFY + 6 years.
21. Year-end adjustments Retain previous financial year. Finance retains records for CFY + 6 years.
Procurement Records
 
1. Tendering - Unsuccessful tender documents Retain until 1 year after award of contract
2. Tendering - Successful tender documents Retain until 6 years from end of contract
3. Tending - background information supplier by department Retain until 1 year after date of last paper
4. Tendering - interview panel report and notes of proceedings Retain until 1 year after date of last paper
5. Tendering - commissioning letter Retain until 1 year after date of last paper  
6. Tendering - signed contract Retain until 6 years from end of contract
7. Contract operation and monitoring - Reports from contractors Retail until 2 years from end of contract
8. Contract operation and monitoring - Schedules of works Retail until 2 years from end of contract
9. Contract operation and monitoring - Bills of quantity ( building contracts ) Retail until 16 years from end of contract
10. Contract operation and monitoring - Surveys and Inspections  - equipment and suppliers Retain until 2 years after date of last paper 
11. Contract operation and monitoring - Surveys and Inspections  - buildings Second review
12. Contract operation and monitoring - Records of complaints Retain until 6 years from end of contract
13. Contract operation and monitoring - Disputes over payments Retain until 6 years from end of contract
14. Contract operation and monitoring - Final accounts Retain until 6 years from end of contract
15. Contract operation and monitoring - Meeting and papers of meetings Second review