Attest Function

Attest Function

The acts an accountant performs when conducting an audit. That is, the attest function is the totality of the reviews, corrections, and reports an accountant makes when performing his/her duties.
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Over the past decade, CPAs have used their trust relationship with clients to expand their basket of services far beyond the attest function," he explains.
Among those provisions is a redefinition of the attest function to include review and compilation reports.
I have been led to believe from all I have read and been told that most state CPA societies, through their obvious influence on state accountancy boards, have not recognized the open competition concept upon which our nation was formed and have not uniformly recognized that the attest function is the only franchise resting exclusively with CPAs.
To do this, you wouldn't be able to issue audits, reviews or unqualified compilation reports, although someone still needs to perform the independent attest function for the financial markets to work.
The attest function is still the monopoly of the traditional, licensed CPA firm.
Some CPAs have said that assurance services separate from the attest function need not be regulated.
For example, the AICPA committee working on assurance services arrived at six new ways CPAs can expand the attest function and make assurance services more relevant," said Kessler.
If the attest function is defined at all, it should be defined in terms of auditing standards and definitely not in terms of compilation or review.
It is the position of the National Society of Public Accountants that the only accounting function that actually requires the highest degree of competency, expertise and regulation is the certification based on an audit, that is, the attest function.
The attest function must remain under a licensee's control.
AICPA and NASBA legislative policies make no bones about defining the attest function broadly enough to prevent the use of conventional forms of language, such as disclaimers, by unlicensed accountants.
Cohen said one traditional service that would undergo dramatic change was the attest function.