Original Issuance Date: December 23, 2016
Last Revision Date: November 11, 2022
1. Purpose of Procedures
This procedure outlines expectations with respect to the storage of official copy (paper or electronic) supporting documentation for financial transactions. Archival processes are required to ensure security, availability, authenticity, integrity, readability, and reliability throughout the life cycle of the document.
2. Responsible UW System Officer
Senior Associate Vice President for Finance
Availability: Information arranged, identified, indexed or maintained in a manner that permits the custodian of the public record to locate and retrieve the information in a readable format within a reasonable time.
Authenticity: The retained electronic record correctly reflects the creator’s input, is unaltered, and can be substantiated.
Integrity: All information produced exhibits a high degree of accuracy, legibility, and readability and correctly reflects the original record when displayed on a retrieval device or reproduced on paper.
Legible: The quality of the letters, numbers or symbols can be positively and quickly identified to the exclusion of all other letters, numbers or symbols when displayed on a retrieval device or retrieved by device or reproduced on paper.
Life cycle: All phases of a record’s existence: creation, active use, preservation and management through to disposition. “Disposition” includes permanent preservation as well as designation for destruction.
Official copy: The copy of a record that is designated to satisfy an organization’s retention requirement for information that exists in multiple copies.
Readable: The quality of a group of letters, numbers or symbols is recognized as words, complete numbers or distinct symbols when displayed on a retrieval device or retrieved by device or reproduced on paper.
Reliable: The electronic record produced correctly reflects the initial record each time the system is requested to produce that record and in a legible format.
These procedures outline expectations with respect to the storage of official copy (paper or electronic) supporting documentation for financial transactions.
- Official copy (paper or electronic) supporting documentation for financial transactions (such as payments, Travel reimbursements, P-card charges, etc.) must be retained for the period identified in the General Records Schedules (GRS).
- Institutions must develop a method/process for retaining and filing the original documentation for the retention period prescribed in the respective GRS. Documentation must be associated with a specific transaction and easily retrievable from the files (paper or electronic) upon request.
- Any paper documents that are considered the original record (i.e. have not been converted and replaced by an electronic format) should be retained and filed in the institutions’ designated central storage area (i.e. Accounts Payable, Purchasing, or the college division level offices).
B. Electronic Documents
In addition to the procedures listed above, the following procedures are specific to electronic documents (including both born-digital and original paper documents converted and replaced by an electronic format), and must be met for an electronic record to be considered as the official record:
- The electronic record can be maintained in the Shared Financial System (SFS) or other records management system and must be retained for the period identified in the GRS.
- All scanned documents should be reviewed at point of creation to ensure they are readable, unaltered, and are in a supported file format (i.e. pdf, Word, Excel, .jpg, .png). This review can be performed by the person scanning the document. Redaction of sensitive information in electronic records, such as social security numbers, is considered an acceptable alteration.
- Quality control procedures must be performed to verify that scanned records are readable, unaltered, and are in a supported file format (i.e. pdf, Word, Excel, .jpg, .png). Verification should be completed by someone other than the person that scanned the document (e.g. auditor). Institutions can develop sampling methodologies. See UWSA Digitization Systems: Overview and Caution on the Imaging of Public Records.
- There must be controls in place to provide assurances that the electronic record cannot be altered without detection. Selected IT systems with logging controls can be utilized to identify when changes have been made and by whom.
- In order for the control procedures to be performed, the original paper records should be kept a minimum of thirty to ninety days after scanning is complete to allow for any errors to be detected and for re-scanning, if necessary.
5. Related Documents
Revision 1: November 11, 2022
First approved: December 23, 2016