Comptroller's Office
 Policies and Procedures Manual

Effective: 01/01/2000
Revised: 05/17/2013  

CMP 103: Departmental Record Retention


To determine a sufficient time period to retain university financial records.


 University policy


Departments should retain financial records for an extended period of time. One reason for maintaining records is to provide source documents to substantiate charges to Post Award Departments. Interdepartmental billing computations and receipt acknowledgments for services or materials are particularly important source documents for this purpose. Often sponsors do not audit Post Awards until a number of years after the project terminates.


Financial records shall be retained by all NAU departments for the periods listed below:

Retention Periods for Financial Records
Type of Records Retention Period Comments
Interdepartmental billing computations, receipt acknowledgments, and other documents of servicing departments substantiating interdepartmental charges five years after fiscal year prepared. Failure to adhere to this policy could result in cost disallowances to NAU and possible charge-backs of previous billings to departments.
Documentation of purchases made with an NAU Purchasing Card. Documentation includes itemized cash register receipts and other point of sale documents that specify what was purchased. five years after fiscal year prepared All documentation for Purchasing Card transactions is maintained in the department making the purchase. The documentation must be available for review/audit for five years.
Cash receipts details and cash register tapes five years after fiscal year prepared  
All other financial records including PeopleSoft Financials accounting system computer printouts three years after fiscal year prepared The Comptroller's Office typically maintains a copy of these records for seven years.
Telephone and fax records (long distance, in state and out of state)
five years
Long distance telephone calls (both in state and out of state) must be verified by each department. The documentation must be available for review/audit for five years.

University departments with limited storage space may consider storing records outside the office area.


For guidance in storing records outside the office area and other information regarding records and retention, Contact Karen Underhill, Head of Special Collections and Archives.  Also see Cline Library record retention web page.

For guidance on personal use of NAU telephones, see CMP 117 Personal Use of University Resources.

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