Artful Archiving – Retaining Proper Records

A lack of continuity among board members or management companies can wreak havoc with vital association documents and storage. Even if the community uses a management company, it is probably a good idea to suggest that the board store its own copies of records in a separate facility. It should go without saying that proper storage spaces do not include the Secretary’s garage or the President’s attic. Association records should be stored in an area commonly accessible to future board members — either in a rented off-site storage facility, or in a secure area on-site. Don’t forget to include an index or catalog system to label boxes clearly, so that retrieving information will be quick and easy.

You can make everyone’s job a lot easier at tax time by maintaining adequate records. Proper record keeping requires the following:

  • Knowing what records to store
  • Knowing how long to store them
  • Designating a suitable storage space

When compiling your archives, check with both accounting and legal professionals to make sure you’re complying with applicable state and federal laws. In general, retain full records of the following financial and accounting-related documents:

Record Years to Retain
Accounts Payable ledger 3
Accounts Receivable ledger 3
Bank deposit slips 3
Bank reconciliations 3
Bank Statements and cancelled checks 3
Budgets 7
Check register (cash disbursements log) 3
Depreciation schedule Permanent
Financial Statements
     Interim 3
     Year-end Permanent
     Annual audit/review Permanent
General Ledgers Permanent
Paid vendor invoices operating 3
Pension records Permanent
Office equipment records Permanent
Tax returns Permanent
Tax bills and statements Permanent