How to Determine Fiscal Year End Retention Periods

Determining your record’s fiscal year end (FE) date is important for destroying that specific record on schedule. Read TSLAC’s recommendation for keeping a disposition log to understand consequences of destroying a record too early and TSLAC’s thoughts on keeping a record too long.

Fiscal year (FY) is a 12-month period office’s use for accounting purposes. FY is not necessarily a regular calendar year and varies between offices, so ensure you know your office’s FY dates before determining destruction dates for your financial records.

Determining Record’s FE

The FE for your financial record will be the first FE occurrence AFTER the record was created. To clarify here is an example. Included in bold is the location of entry on the FE+ Calculator:

  • Your record’s date (first line on entry box): September 1, 2009
  • Through discovery you determine your office’s FY in 2009 was and still currently is August 31. So would the record’s FE be August 31, 2009, August 31, 2010, or August 31 [current year]?
  • Since August 31, 2009, is before September 1, 2009, we can eliminate this FE option for this specific record. This is because the FE will always be AFTER your record’s date.
  • August 31 [current year] is not the first FE occurrence since the record was dated, therefore we can eliminate this option.
  • This leaves one option. The result for your record’s FE (**second line on entry box): August 31, 2010

For the next step ensure you are focused on the record’s FE ** and not your record’s date. Disposition depends on record’s FE.

Determining Record’s Date of Destruction

To determine when your FE record may be destroyed, look at the FE+ number for that record. The number in front of the + is the amount of years you are required to keep the record. For clarification, the previous example is continued with the location of entry on the FE+ Calculator included in bold:

  • Your record’s retention period (fourth line on entry box – drop down list): FE+3. This means your office’s TSLAC approved retention schedule states this type of record needs to be kept for 3 years.
  • Your record’s FE (**second line on entry box): August 31, 2010. Determined in the previous example.
  • The date you may destroy your record (cell H4): September 1, 2013. This is the morning after the 3-year retention period you were required to keep the record.

Based on this information in this example you would already be able to destroy your record.

This date of destruction is what the tool is designed to find for you.

FE+ year varies based on characteristic of record. Ensure you have chosen the right retention period by checking your TSLAC approved retention control schedule. For clarification or assistance contact TSLAC’s main line or your state agency or local government analyst.

Tips, Tricks, & Customization

For operating assistance check out the ‘TIPS & TRICKS’ tab on the FE+ Calculator.

The calculator can be downloaded and customized to fit your office’s retention period needs. Some operation options to consider customizing are ‘ERROR’ messages for tricky situations, such as an ‘ERROR’ message if the record date is before the FY period window. Customizing the tips and tricks for concepts you discover or feel would be beneficial to future users. Protecting sheets/cells to prevent accidental entry. 

Comments, questions, and suggestions may be submitted in the comment section below. Please let us know how you customized or used the tool for your office!

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4 thoughts on “How to Determine Fiscal Year End Retention Periods

  1. Thank you so much for this Rebecca! Determining a destroy date that includes a fiscal year retention trigger can be a challenge. This will improve communicating that concept to our customers and make their retention tasks easier and more palatable to have a fiscal year calculator!

  2. Thank you so much for your comment Deb. The calculator was designed to be a teaching tool, rather than a dependent tool so I am glad to hear that! Let us know how it goes and if we can improve it in any way.

  3. Hey, had great parents.
    RMA team is here to make complex issues understandable, glad we could help!

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