Document Retention Policy
In providing our services we create and accumulate numerous documents both in paper and digital format. In order for us to maintain an efficient practice and to ensure that our client’s information is protected it is our policy to limit the information we retain to what is necessary to comply with the applicable legal and regulatory requirements and what we believe is necessary to serve us in our continuing work. The following provides an overview of our policy of how long we retain various documents, but is not intended to be either an exhaustive listing nor to override our discretion.
It is our policy to return all original client provided documents to our clients. Further it is our policy to provide to our clients all documents required by law or regulation. If a client requires a document that is subject to destruction under our document retention policy then it is their obligation to contact us before the destruction date.
It is our policy that when we become aware of any legal matter or investigation that all documents relevant are to be retained regardless of any other provision of our document retention policy.
Retention period by document type:
Documents not retained: The following documents are generally destroyed as soon as their immediate use is over: Voicemails, e-mails (attachments to e-mails would be generally considered independently of the e-mail message itself), and draft tax returns and reports.
Documents kept permanently (for ex-clients or liquidated entities these documents would generally be destroyed after seven years, barring any legal requirement that we are aware of to keep them longer): Annual financial statements, IRS audit reports, IRS elections, tax returns, and legal documents and contracts. As technology and our software changes over time, various documents and databases, which are used to store documents, my become increasingly difficult to impossible to access, accordingly our ability to retrieve certain documents may be limited.
Financial statement working papers are generally kept for seven years from completion of engagement. Drafts are generally destroyed at the completion of the engagement. Correspondence and other documents that are not supportive, are also destroyed at the completion of the engagement.
Tax return workpapers and supporting documents are generally kept for six years from the applicable returns due dates.
Client provided documents that are used in the preparation of ledgers are generally retained for three years. Examples of such would be, sale invoices, vendor invoices, cancelled checks, deposit slips, etc. Ledgers are generally retained for seven years.
Certain documents created in earlier periods are necessary to support current work and accordingly the document retention policy that applies to that work product would generally apply to that document.
Administrative and related billing files for clients are generally retained for seven years.
Our tax software, programs, and databases, which are used in the preparation of our work products, may persist longer then the above document retention times, however our ability to access these programs or databases becomes increasingly limited due to changes in technology and loss of knowledge for how to use archaic systems. As such we cannot commit to being able to access old systems or databases.