PUBLIC ACCOUNTANCY

By Bob Katzen

The Senate approved and sent to the House a bill that sponsors say would modernize public accountancy and bring Massachusetts in line with the majority of states to protect licensed Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and consumers at the same time.

Provisions include clarifying that only licensed CPAs and their counterparts in other states can use CPA-specific standards to perform attest functions, such as audits, compilations and reviews; allowing licensed CPAs working at accounting firms without a national presence to provide attest services across state lines without having to register in each state to offer those services; adopting the most recent version of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s Code of Professional Conduct—ensuring the highest standards for CPAs practicing in the state; and updating state laws related to non-CPA leadership at accounting firms, increasing the state’s competitiveness given the realities presented by the global economy.

“I worked with local CPAs to bring Massachusetts in line with the majority of states as well as preserving the integrity of chart of accounts licensing while protecting consumers,” said the bill’s sponsor Sen. Anne Gobi (D-Spencer).

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