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Set Retention Rules
Updated over a week ago

What's in this Article

In the accounting industry, retention rules are guidelines that dictate how long certain types of documents should be stored for legal purposes. These documents include financial statements, tax returns, and receipts, and are typically required to be kept for seven years in case of a dispute or an audit. While the specific retention rules can vary, seven years is a common timeframe. It's important to comply with these rules not only for legal reasons but also for maintaining organized record-keeping and easy file retrieval.

Think of retention rules in Canopy as an electronic paper shredder - they help ensure that important documents are kept for the required period and then automatically (and securely) archived afterward.

Set Retention Rules

To set retention rules for folders in Canopy, you have a couple of options. You can do so under Client Files or within the Files tab of a specific client record. For our example, we'll set retention rules in Albert Brennaman's record.

Note: Setting a retention rule prevents archiving for the specified timeframe. Only a team member with the appropriate permissions can override.

1. Click the Files tab on the client record.


2. Right-click on a folder or select the three stacked dots in line with a folder.


3. In the menu that pops up, select Set retention rule.

4. In the Create Retention Rule window, select the number of years from the dropdown to retain the file.

  • In the bullet points, it states that Current files will be retained until: Month Day, Year.

  • The second bullet confirms that Future files will be retained X years from the day they are uploaded to the folder.

5. Choose to Archive files or No action under the Action at retention deadline dropdown.


Note: Usually, you will choose to Archive files. However, we also provide an option called No action that allows you to ensure other team members cannot delete the files until the deadline and gives you the chance to delete them yourself later.

If you choose No action, the system will send you a notification when the retention period expires, reminding you to delete the file safely.

6. Click Save.

View Retention Rule Details

This icon signifies that the folder has a Retention Rule applied.


1. Under this folder icon, right-click on a file and select View details.

2. View the information in the Retention Rule section.

Manage Files With Retention Rules

The retention rule applies to all files within the folder, based on the date they were added. So, if you add a new file to a folder that already has a retention rule set to archive files after 7 years, that new file will also be subject to the same rule, meaning it will expire and be archived 7 years from today - not 7 years from the date you initially added the retention rule to the folder. Once all the files in the folder have been archived, the folder itself will still be accessible and visible in Canopy.

When you right-click to Move or Archive a file, you'll see the Active retention rule noted, as shown below.

Archive a File

If you try to archive a file that is in a folder with an active retention rule, the system will display a popup message, similar to the picture shown below. From there, choose to Archive the file or Cancel the process.

Move a File

If you try to move a file into or out of a folder that has a retention rule in place, the system will ask you to Continue or Cancel the move. The message you'll see will let you know that the retention settings for the new folder will now apply to the file you're moving.

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