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B4 Records

Page history last edited by Bonnyville Baptist Church 5 years, 7 months ago


Dec 5, 2012








Approved By

Admin Team




Good record keeping is important:

  1.                   to help the church operate more efficiently.

  2.                   to facilitate and expedite the process of internal, external and government reviews and audits.

  3.                   for legal purposes - to demonstrate that the church and board has upheld its fiduciary duty and to provide evidence of due diligence in screening and training employees and volunteers.

  4.                   to comply with privacy legislation in ensuring that personal information is stored with appropriate safeguards to protect it and that it is retained only for the length of time required.





1.         Church records are to be kept at the registered office of the church.


2.         A duplicate copy of church governing records and routine backups of electronic records are to be maintained.


3.         Confidential information will be disclosed only to persons with a legitimate need to know and will be maintained in locked storage and password protected if kept in electronic format.


4.         In the event of sudden death or incapacity of a pastor or other individual providing personal counselling on behalf of the church, the individual’s immediate supervisor or the Board is to ensure appropriate disposition of any counselling notes or other highly confidential records that he/she may have maintained.


5.         A permanent index is to be maintained of all documents stored including what has been stored, the location, the fiscal or ministry year the documents relate to and the year the documents may be destroyed, and date of destruction.


6.         Records are to be kept only for the length of time required, using the attached chart as the basis for retention period.  (Reference: Canadian Council of Christian Charities, Update January 28, 2011)


7.         An index of archival material will be maintained for periodic review to determine whether such material should continue to be retained or destroyed.






1.         The administrator will be responsible for retaining proper records for the church.


2.         Duplicate or electronic backup records of the following are to be maintained:

  1.           Congregational minute books (care and custody of the Church Clerk).

  2.           Board (including committees) minutes (care and custody of the board secretary).


3.         Except as provided herein, authorization is required to maintain records off-site.  All such records must be secured against unauthorized access and are to be returned to the church as soon as the need to have them off-site is finished.



4.         Screening files of employees and volunteers involved with children/youth programs or ministries are maintained in locked, fire resistant cabinets in accordance with our “Plan to Protect” policy.  (See C-9)


5.         Children’s and youth programs or ministry attendance records and releases are to  be forwarded to the church office at the conclusion of the ministry year for proper storage in accordance with our “Plan to Protect” policy (see C-9).  Duplicate records are to be shredded.


6.         Records of similar type and records that can be destroyed in the same year are to be stored together.  All boxes are to be labeled with the year the documents relate to, the type of documents and the year they may be destroyed.


7.         Authorization is required prior to the destruction of any records.   A record of date and method of destruction is to be recorded on the permanent index.






Type of Record

Retention Period

Church Envelope Records

3 years

Official Receipts for Income Tax Purposes

3 years

Approved Budgets

7 years

Bank Reconciliations

7 years

Bank Statements / Cancelled Cheques

7 years

Donation Records

7 years

Financial Statement Working Papers

7 years

Inventory Records

7 years

Invoices / Receipts of Payment

7 years

Monthly Trial Balance

7 years

Payroll Records, T4's

7 years

Record of Employment (ROE's)

7 years

T3010 Annual Charity Information Return

7 years

General Ledger

Permanent *

Governing Documents (Letters Patent, Certificate of Incorporation, Bylaws)

Permanent *

Minutes of Directors' Meetings

Permanent *

Minutes of Executive Committee Meetings

Permanent *

Minutes of Members' Meetings

Permanent *

Official Receipts for Income Tax purposes (Perpetual Endowment Gifts)

Permanent *

Official Receipts for Income Tax Purposes (10 year gifts)

Permanent *

Authorization and Consent for Minors

Recommended Permanent

Confidential Record of Reference Checks **

Recommended Permanent

Employment Applications

Recommended Permanent

Insurance Policies

Recommended Permanent

Performance Reviews

Recommended Permanent

Personnel Information: sick leave, time sheets, attendance, discipline, vacation

Recommended Permanent

Suspected Child Abuse Report

Recommended Permanent

Suspected Child Abuse Followup Report

Recommended Permanent

T-4 Summaries

Recommended Permanent

Volunteer Application Forms

Recommended Permanent

Year End Financial Statements

Recommended Permanent


NOTE:  Records that are to be kept for a certain period (e.g., 2 years or 6 years, after the end of the tax year to which they apply) are rounded up to the next year (e.g., 3 years or 7 years).


* Permanent means for 2 years after the charity's registration is revoked.


** The police record check itself may be destroyed, but keep a permanent record that it was received and vetted.


While duplicate receipts technically need only be kept for two years, practically they should be kept for at least five years in the event a donor who has not yet claimed the donation on their income tax return has lost the receipt and requests a replacement.  It may also be practical to keep these for a full 6 years as a source document backing up the General Ledgers.


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