In my professional clearance letter I asked for a back up of my client's Sage data.
The previous accountant just sent pdf files of the audit trail etc. for the current year only. Opening balances came with working papers/schedules.
I check some of the old customer balances with my client and it turns out some had been paid via bank transfer in the previous year for which accounts have been produced.
So go I back to the previous accountant with a list but also suggesting that he could still send me the back up so I can investigate myself. "Assuming the bank was properly reconciled, there are a number of receipts here that must have been recorded somewhere."
He refuses to send me a back up of Sage "as it contains our passwords and is our own property, as opposed to the information in the ledgers which we consider the client’s property and we sent you." (he only send current year). So I ask him for the audit trail for the previous 2 years.
This morning I get another email including the line "When I sent you the information and printouts a few weeks back, I deleted the XXXX Sage records from our computer systems as it was using up one of our licences, and I needed to make way for other clients of our practice."
So now where does my client stand with his company's obligation to keep digital records?