We're switching from paper checks to EFT for our payments. What is the Best Practice for storing/destroying this information? Do we have to store it and for how long?


In most cases an electronic copy is acceptable documentation as long as it is readable and has the substance of the transaction, and has adequate safeguards to prevent unauthorized access and alteration. Some companies such as Johnson & Johnson scan all of their invoice documentation and other supporting documentation upon receipt, save it for some period of time, maybe 30 days or less, and then destroy it. Other companies may keep it longer so that there is adequate time for its technology services group to perform backup archives on electronic data so that they are sure a copy has been archived in case of a system crash. The timing depends on your organization's back up routine.

As far as record retention you can find a general guideline in TAPN's AP Tool Suite under the topic "AP Tools" and go to "AP Accounting Forms and Checklist Templates" and look for the record retention template. Or link directly to it: http://www.theaccountspayablenetwork.com/html/pafiledb3/pafiledb.php?action=file&id=118&category=5

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