Ownership of Working Papers

I consider all working papers and records prepared for a client engagement (Firm’s Working Papers), except reports submitted to a client and records or documents provided by a client (Client-Provided Records), to be the property of the firm in the absence of an agreement to the contrary which details specific work products to be generated as client-owned documents. In the event the firm produces any such client-owned documents under such an agreement, the firm always retains the right to maintain a copy of such documents in its files as part of the Firm’s Working Papers.

The working papers I have created to document the performance of my responsibilities in the completion of our client engagements (Firm’s Working Papers) are the property of my firm and will not be provided to my client or any other third party, except as may be required by state and federal statutes and regulations or other regulatory monitoring referenced within our engagement letter for the services to which they pertain.

Clarification as to the meaning of specific terms referenced above may be ascertained by reference to the following definitions:

Client-Provided Records: Accounting or other records belonging to the client that were provided to the firm. This might include original bank statements or other third-party documents, original client-prepared reconciliations to third-party documents, original vendor invoices, minute books, stock record books, and similar records.

Firm-Prepared Client Records: Information not reflected in the client’s books and records that, if otherwise not available to the client, would result in the client’s financial information being incomplete. This might include depreciation schedules and amortization schedules.

Firm’s Work Products: Deliverables that the firm was engaged to prepare for the client. This might include tax returns, reports, and unaudited or audited financial statements.

Firm’s Working Papers: Documents prepared by the firm or accumulated by the firm from other sources to (i) support client financial records, balances, obligations and calculations or (ii) document the performance of procedures provided by our firm as part of its diligence in performing audit, review, compilation, tax return preparation or other compliance services. This might include audit programs, analytical review schedules, statistical sampling results, analyses and schedules prepared by the firm, or schedules prepared by the client at the request of the firm.

21 NCAC 08N .0305 Retention of Client Records