Records Retention Requirements

Financial Management and Accounting

Records Retention Requirements


The Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002, commonly known as Sarbanes-Oxley (in reference to its Congressional sponsors) or SOX, has two key provisions that apply directly to nonprofit organizations. One of these provisions regulates the retention, storage and destruction of documents. Specific retention schedules are specified for different types of documents. [See the attached schedule.]


All organizations should have formal policies about the storage of documents, length of retention and manner of destruction, when permitted.  These policies must consider both paper and electronic records. All employees who handle documents should be trained in the proper storage and retention of these documents. Policies and procedures are also necessary for proper disposal of documents, accompanied by appropriate records of the disposal.


Some states have additional laws related to the retention of health or education records that may affect the retention records at the assistive technology reuse organization.

  REFERENCES Jackson, Peggy M. Nonprofit Management and Contingency Planning: Done in a Day Strategies. Wiley, 2006. pp. 6-9. Kipnis, Elliott, "Sarbanes Oxley Compliance and Non-Profit Organizations." Written 8/05/05. Retrieved December 10, 2008, from




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This work is supported under a five-year cooperative agreement # H235V060016 awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and is administered by the Pass It On Center of the Georgia Department of Labor – Tools for Life.  However, the contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or opinions of the Department of Education, or the Georgia Department of Labor, and you should not assume endorsements of this document by the Federal government or the Georgia Department of Labor.






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Other Information

Title: Records Retention Requirements
Module: Finance/Accounting
Author: Trish Redmon
Audience: Administrator
Sub Title: Provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley
Procedure: Storage, retention and disposal of records
Organization Source: Pass It On Center
Last Reviewed: 10-25-2009 3:22 PM