Microsoft 365 Fiscal Year Retention

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Are you looking to implement retention based on Fiscal Year? This is a common requirement I see across many retention schedules. Records Managers are seeking to understand the different ways to accomplish this using the Records Management capabilities in Microsoft 365.

A modernization of Records Management (RM) is currently underway with a shift in focus from exclusively ‘compliance and risk’ to also including how RM can better support the business on their digital transformation. A key piece to providing this support is to acknowledge a reliance on automation to meet their compliance needs rather than a manual approach of relying on the end-user to act as a surrogate “Records Manager”.

End-users have other work to get done.

I highly recommend downloading this AIIM eBook for reference: How to become a Modern Records Manager (and a business enabler)

The fiscal year retention requirement may read something like this… “Retain all Financial reports for 7 years past the close of the Fiscal Year they relate to and then destroy”.

There are several ways to accomplish this other than manually applying a retention label to a document. Remember… end-users have other work to get done (and aren’t Records Managers) and we don’t want to rely on them to have to remember to apply a retention label to a document at the end of each Fiscal Year. Instead, this blog post series will look at numerous ways Fiscal Year retention can be automated.

Each of the techniques I’ll describe will have differing levels of automation, control, complexity, pros, and cons. I’ll walk thru each of them end-to-end in separate posts published over the coming days/weeks and will link to them here:

Advanced compliance capabilities will be required for each of the options in this series for “any user benefiting from the service”. This means anyone with contribute access or above to the document library where Fiscal Year retention is being applied will require the license providing the capability.

As of May 2021, one of these is required for any of these options: Microsoft 365 E5/A5/G5, Microsoft 365 E5/A5/G5 Compliance, Microsoft 365 E5/A5/G5 Information Protection and Governance, Office 365 E5/A5. Refer to the Security & Compliance Licensing Guidance for up-to-date detail.

FACT: Automation = Advanced licensing = Less onus on the end-user

… don’t shoot the messenger.

Of course, the fiscal year model can be extrapolated to other time-based retentions (monthly, quarterly, calendar year) by making minor adjustments.

Thanks for reading and I hope you find the series helpful!

-JCK

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