"as the new firm had no records of previous IRA activity."
But the Client should. 1099-R is money Out reporting. 5498 is money In reporting. Account statements will show the activity, too. And the IRS has the transcript of these reporting forms. You are lucky; this is only a year or so back. I've had to go back much further when helping clients.
"Level Up" is a gaming function, not a real life function.