How long does a CPA firm have to save old client records and work papers before recycling them?

Minneapolis attorney Tom Shroyer explains when a CPA firm should save old records.

Contact Tom Shroyer

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (612) 877-5281


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.