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Can books and records be kept in electronic format?

Yes, however:

  • Electronic records are subject to the same rules and retention periods as described above.
  • Books and records that are created and maintained in electronic format must be kept in an electronically readable format, even if the charity has paper printouts of the electronic records. An electronically readable format means information supported by a system capable of producing an accessible and useable copy that would allow auditors to process and analyze the electronic records on CRA equipment.
  • If any source documents are initially created, transmitted, or received electronically, they must be kept in an electronically readable format.
  • Scanned images of paper documents, records, or books of account that are maintained in electronic format are acceptable if proper imaging practices are followed and documented.


Books and records maintained outside Canada but accessible electronically in Canada do not meet the requirement of being kept in Canada.

 Refer to IC05-1R1, Electronic Record Keeping for additional information.


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