Profession FAQ


The following are answers to some frequently asked questions received by the Department of Safety and Professional Services. These questions and answers are general in nature and are provided as a public service. Licensees and applicants with specific questions should refer to the Wisconsin statutes and administrative code provisions which govern their profession. In any instance in which an answer may differ from the provisions of the statutes and administrative code provisions, the latter will govern.

What are the differences between a client's records and a CPA's records?

Client records are owned by the client and must be returned to the client. All records that are not client records are CPA records and do not have to be returned to the client. Client records are original source documents that have been received from the client. During the course of rendering services, CPAs routinely examine and refer to client original source documents. These may include original W-2 forms, income statements, property tax invoices, asset purchase documentation, tax depreciation schedules, accounting records, debt agreements, bank statements, and other legal documents. CPA records are all statements, records, schedules, work product, and memoranda made by the CPA during the course of rendering services to a client unless there is a contractual agreement to the contrary.