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David Marchak

When should prior year donations be purged?

This is (almost) entirely up to you (or, perhaps, your accountant). Obviously, you wouldn't purge last year's donations before you issued income tax receipts (no, the program will not allow you to do this). Other than that, you can decide how many years worth of information to keep on file. There is no requirement to close one year before you start the next.

Paritek has two purge routines -- one for tax receipt information and another for the weekly breakdown of all donations. I would recommend that you keep at least three years worth of weekly donation information on file. If you are currently entering donations for 2005, keep the 2005 records (obviously), the 2004 records (in case a parishioner comes back with a discrepancy) and the 2003 records (hey, you never know).

While you may not need this detailed information for official tax purposes, it does give you the ability to print reports that indicate trends in the donations (Is the parish growing? Are the average gifts increasing?) Even a large parish will only generate about 1 megabyte of donation records each year. With the size of today's hard disks, it would take a long time for disk space to become a problem at that rate.

Because the tax receipt information is stored in a separate file, you may keep this information longer than the details. Paritek will not allow you to purge receipt information unless it is at least seven years old. Even then, the program does not require this information be removed. Some parishes keep this information indefinitely, allowing them to have a historical record going back ten years or more.

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Content copyright 2001-2009 David Marchak
This page last updated June 15, 2009