Offered on an irregular basis


MAS and Dual Students: completion of the MAS core courses

MLIS students: ARST 510, LIBR 516 and completion of the MLIS core courses, plus permission of the iSchool Graduate Advisor

Non-iSchool students: All Masters-level students with a background in information systems are welcome to seek the permission of the course instructor to register for this course. This course builds on a foundation of a body of knowledge about the management of current records. LIBR 516 or an equivalent course is highly recommended. Students without this foundation may expect to do additional reading to address gaps in foundational knowledge.

GOALS: Financial records are ubiquitous and found in personal, government and corporate archival fonds.  They offer a crucial, sometimes the only, source of historical evidence about their creator’s functions and activities, bringing truth to the expression “always follow the money”.  In the digital era, they have come to pose many records management challenges, not least because they are now among the most sensitive and highly-regulated types of records.

In this course, students are invited to take “a great leap into the informational void surrounding financial records, striving to correct the most egregious custodial failing of those who try to ignore the dark and threatening world of numbers. . .”(Kennedy, 1998).  The course will offer students an opportunity to obtain a solid grounding in the fundamental theories, concepts, principles, methods, standards and practices related to the creation, transmission and preservation of financial records.  The course will take a multidisciplinary approach drawing on archival, economic, financial, social and management theory to frame lectures and in-class discussions.  An international perspective will be taken, with particular emphasis on Canada and the US as exemplars.  This course is aimed at the advanced student of archives and records management and therefore students will find it advantageous to have prior knowledge of the basics of managing current records, including business systems, functional and diplomatic analysis.


Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Discuss and evaluate fundamental theories, concepts, principles and methods related to financial records in contemporary business environments;
  • Learn how to apply theoretical knowledge of financial records to situations that may occur in real-life business environments;
  • Develop interrelated core competencies in the domains of business, records and information management, technology, compliance, and risk management;
  • Develop an understanding of the multidisciplinary aspects of financial records and their management.


  • Basic Financial and Economic Theories, Concepts and Terms
  • Financial Records in Historical Perspective
  • Accounting concepts, methods and records
  • Accounting, Accounting Records and Accountability
  • Understanding Financial Systems: Theories and Concepts
  • Understanding Financial Systems: Institutions and Functions
  • Understanding Financial Systems: Records and Systems of Record
  • The Legal and Regulatory Context of Financial Records
  • Records Management and Archival Practices of Major Financial Institutions
  • Current Records Management and Archival Issues for Financial Institutions (e.g., Spreadsheets and Spreadsheet Risk; Cloud Computing and Outsourcing; Payment processing and PCIS compliance)
  • Financial crisis and contagion: Implicating Records and Records Implications