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Document Retention

VT Accounting Associates, LLP
(and related entities)

RETENTION POLICY EFFECTIVE 9/27/10

 

Information is an important asset of our firm. These policies apply uniformly to documents retained in either paper or electronic format. Our policy pertaining to the retention and destruction of email documents mirrors the policy for documents in other electronic or paper formats.

 

DOCUMENTS TO BE RETAINED

We will retain firm business records to comply with Internal Revenue Service requirements. All client documents are saved in ProSystem fx Engagement or the firm's main server located at I:\Carson Clients or I:\Reno Clients. Documents attached to and transmitted by email are stored in machine readable format in the firm's electronic document management system in the appropriate client folders. Those email messages which actually contain information pertinent to the completion of a tax return or financial statement, such as a client's responses to a list of questions, are copied in PDF or other machine readable format and included in the source documents folder. Email messages not saved for filing in the correspondence file or other appropriate folder should be deleted.

 

DESTRUCTION AND CONTROL

Destruction of documents is as important as their storage. Paper documents which are not to be retained in the firm's files must be shredded or incinerated if they contain confidential information or sensitive data. Any paper with a social security number, a federal ID number or a client name on it must be destroyed in this manner; never just dropped in the trash. Electronic documents are destroyed by deleting them from the medium on which they are stored. Any exceptions to the above retention policies must be approved by the Engagement Partner, for instance certain documents may be retained for a longer period. If we learn that a government agency is conducting an investigation into a client or that private litigation is pending or threatened (even if the firm is not directly involved), we will retain all relevant records, even if they are slated for destruction under the firm's policy and even if no request has been made for them.

 

CLIENT NOTIFICATION

All clients should be notified in writing that the Firm's policy is to destroy files. Retention periods commence immediately following the date of the financial statements or the taxable year in the case of tax returns and work papers.

 

RETENTION PERIODS FOR VARIOUS CATEGORIES OF DOCUMENTS

CLIENT RECORDS: 

  • Annual financial statements
    • Current clients: Indefinite
    • Former clients: 7 years
  • Audit reports
    • Current clients:Indefinite
    • Former clients: 7 years
  • Bookkeeping and payroll files: 7 years
  • Compiled or reviewed monthly and quarterly financial statements: 7 years
  • Forecasts & projections: 7 years
  • Client supplied documents: Returned to client
  • Litigation support files: 7 years
  • Pencil drafts
    • Financial statement reports: Destroy immediately
    • Tax returns: Destroy immediately
  • Permanent files
    • Current clients: Indefinite
    • Former clients: 7 years
  • Reports with government agencies
    • Current clients: 7 years
    • Former clients: 7 years
  • Special reports: 7 years
  • Tax returns
    • Current clients: Indefinite
    • Former clients: 7 years
  • IRS audit files
    • Current clients: 7 years
    • Former clients: 7 years
  • Correspondence
    • Current clients: 7years
    • Former clients: 7 years
  • Work paper files
    • Current clients
      • - audit: 7 years
      • - comp. & review: 7 years
      • - tax: 7 years
      • - estate & gift tax: Indefinite
      • - special reports: 7 years
      • - forecasts & projections: 7 years
      • - valuations: 7 years
      • - audit & review backup: 7 years
    • Former clients
      • - audit: 7 years
      • - comp. & review: 7 years
      • - tax: 7 years
      • - estate & gift tax: 7 years
      • - special reports: 7 years
      • - forecasts & projections: 7 years
      • - valuations: 7 years
      • - audit & review backup: 7 years