Attest Function

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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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Nearly every jurisdiction requires an average of 40 hours of CPE per year for CPAs who perform attest functions.
But CPAs, apart from their attest functions, are already in competition with other professions.
It believes that the rigorous process for demonstrating competency to perform attest functions, combined with fewer CPAs actually performing attest services, is a barrier that many young people are no longer willing to cross to gain the credential.
A CPA ultimately must be responsible for all firm services and for all business units performing attest functions.
The state board rules can be seen as attempts to usurp the role of providers of business services and those who provide accounting services in addition to the licensed attest functions.
The issues faced by corporate tax departments and the needs and expectations of corporate CEOs, CFOs and VPs of Tax, particularly in the aftermath of Sarbanes-Oxley, have reinforced the need for companies to develop strong unions with quality driven tax practices independent of any accounting firms providing attest functions for these companies.
If we want to be the trusted profession, we have to be willing to let people know what independent assessments have to say about firms that have taken on the public-interest responsibility of attest functions.
Satisfying independence rules qualifies an accountant narrowly to perform attest functions but does not necessarily rule out other conflicts of interest.
Step 3 would be to focus the content of the CPA exam on knowledge related to attest functions and to enhance the stature of the exam in qualifying for attest practice.
What other activities besides attest functions are covered in the regulation of CPAs?
The service company provides administrative management, infrastructure, capital, and facilities to the CPA firm and leases employees to the CPA firm to perform attest functions.
In the context of non-CPA ownership, the report appears to be a case of being willing to sacrifice the prestige and distinctiveness of CPA licensure of the individual in a last-ditch effort to hold onto a bare majority of ownership of a broadened attest function.