Financial record keeping is your legal duty as a representative, and it is also good practice. It helps keep you organized and confident when you need to follow up on things. Managing the affairs of someone else is an important responsibility, and you need to be able to keep the adult informed and respond to any questions or concerns they may have. If a monitor is appointed in the Agreement, they may also ask to see the records, although you should be pro-active in keeping them updated. And in the case of an investigation, the Public Guardian and Trustee would need to see the records too.
WHAT TYPES OF RECORDS TO KEEP?
The law says you need to keep copies of invoices, bank statements and other records related to the adult’s financial affairs. A good way to keep track of this is to use a paper copy of the adult’s monthly bank statements and handwrite notes next to the deposits and payments to identify what they were for. Small amounts for incidentals should not need to be itemized–you might just write ‘activities’ or ‘entertainment.’
The law is not specific about keeping receipts. It is not likely that you would keep a receipt for something like chocolate milk syrup. On the other hand, you would probably keep a receipt for a larger purchase like a computer. For example, if you helped the adult buy a computer, you would want to keep this receipt for a period of time – because of the amount of money spent, and also in case you need to return it later or deal with a warranty issue.
If you’re not sure whether to keep a receipt, use your common sense. See it from the point of view of the monitor or the Public Guardian and Trustee. You would not want to be looking at every receipt for chocolate milk syrup. However, if you saw overdrafts and large sums going in or out of the adult’s account with no explanation, you would be concerned.
Keep in mind that there may be other reasons to keep receipts for the adult, outside of your general duty to keep records as a representative. For example, the Income Tax Act has requirements related to income tax returns – you might have to keep receipts for certain items in order for the adult to qualify for tax credits. There may also be specific record keeping requirements related to the disability or pension benefits the adult receives.