Regarding the retention of documentation, projects should consider programme rules, national and EU regulations. The strictest rule should be applied.
Project documents and project accounts with supporting documentation (such as ledgers, reports, invoices, agreements, evidence of purchases, evidence of websites and social media and the like) should be kept available for a period of seven years following the end of the calendar year when the project was formally closed by the Managing Authority, or longer if it is stipulated in other rules applicable to the project partner.
The documents shall be kept either in the form of the originals, or certified true copies of the originals, or on commonly accepted data carriers including electronic versions of original documents or documents existing in electronic version only. Project partners shall document where original documents are located. This is needed if later audits need to have documentation to verify eligibility.
All documents need to be kept in the archives even for projects using simplified cost options that will not be checked by the programme. This is needed because the project partners still need to oblige to national legislation regarding accounting records, procurement and alike.
An adequate audit trail ensures that the accounting records maintained, and the supporting documents held at the level of the Managing Authority and project partners are adequate to trace expenditures.