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Books & Records for Charities

Charities must keep books and records so that the Charities Directorate can check on the revenue a charity receives and verify that resources are spent on charitable programs. Books and records also help confirm that the purposes and activities of the organization continue to be charitable.

If a charity hires a third party to maintain its records it is still responsible for meeting the record keeping requirements.

Books and records that must be kept include...

  • governing documents (incorporating documents, constitution, trust document) – must be kept for as long as the charity is registered and, if the charity is no longer registered, for at least two more years after that
  • bylaws - must be kept for as long as the charity is registered and if the charity is no longer registered for at least two more years after that
  • financial statements for the last 6 years
  • copies of official donation receipts for a minimum of the last two years
  • copies of annual information returns
  • written agreements
  • contracts
  • all member and board meeting minutes from the time the charity is registered and if the charity is no longer registered for two years after that
  • annual reports
  • ledgers for the last 6 years
  • bank statements for the last 6 years
  • expense accounts for the last 6 years
  • inventories
  • investment agreements
  • accountant's working papers for the last 6 years
  • payroll records for the last 6 years
  • promotional materials
  • fundraising materials

Documents that support the information in the books and records such as invoices, vouchers, formal contracts, work orders, delivery slips, purchase orders, and bank deposit slips must also be kept.

Other Requirements

Books and records must be kept at a Canadian address that the charity has on file with the Charities Directorate.

Books and records can be kept electronically including by scanning paper documents.

Electronic records must be properly backed up so they are not lost. Copies of paper books and records should also be kept off-site in case the originals are destroyed.

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About PLEA

PLEA gratefully acknowledges our primary core funder the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan for their continuing and generous support of our organization.