How long does a CPA firm need to retain client records and work papers? (Tom Shroyer discusses with "Reel Lawyers")


Great question. Prior to the Enron and Tyco debacles of the early 2000s there were no hard and set rules; but after that, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act required auditors of public companies to keep their records for seven years. Most state licensing boards followed suit. So the rule of thumb is that a CPA needs to retain their auditing files on a client matter for seven years. And while they don’t have to keep other files that long, many firms use that as the benchmark for applying their document retention policies across all of the platforms, different service offerings that they have.