Poppe Law Firm®

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How To Get Your File From Your Accountant

There are numerous reasons why you, as a consumer of public accounting services, would require copies of your records. In order to obtain your records from your CPA, you should put your request in writing and specify the records you require.

There are two types of records: Client Records Previously Provided to your CPA: The CPA must return your accounting or other records which you provided to the CPA to perform the agreed upon services. The CPA must return these records even if you owe fees for any services provided. Documents Prepared for you by your CPA: If the CPA has work papers which need to be part of your permanent records (i.e. depreciation schedules, pension schedules, etc.)and they are not available elsewhere, list those specific records. Also, you may request copies of a tax return, report, or other document which was previously completed and issued on your behalf.

The CPA may require that you pay all fees owed prior to releasing any of these records. If you have paid the CPA in full for the services rendered, he is required to release the records requested within a reasonable period of time. The CPA can charge you a fee for copies or staff time for making copies of these records. Limiting your request to copies which are actually needed can save you time and money. Also, it will enable the CPA to make a more timely response to your concerns.

If, after writing the CPA, you still do not receive your records within a reasonable period of time, you may wish to file a complaint with the Kentucky State Board of Accountancy. To do this, send us a brief letter outlining your efforts to obtain the records and provide copies of the correspondence sent to the CPA. After the Board receives your complaint, it will be sent to the CPA for a response. If the matter is not resolved, it will then be referred to the State Board. The Board has the authority to investigate and to conduct hearings against CPAs. Also, you may wish to contact the IRS to secure copies of tax returns.

Please check your local phone directory for an IRS toll free number. Please review KRS 325.420, which deals with client records. If, after reviewing this information you have any questions regarding the law governing client records, please contact the Board office. Source: Kentucky Board of Accountancy

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