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. Some jurisdictions require 40 hours each year, others require 80 hours over a two-year period, and others require 120 hours over a three-year period.
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. * Non-CPA owners are not eligible for AICPA membership.
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. Business reviews and services, along with computerization specialties, and classified accounting specialties should be kept separate from the intrusions of state boards of accounting and board rulings.
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. Ultimately, the precise amount of transparency will have to be determined within the hearts and minds of individual CPAs, based on how they want the peer review process to be perceived.
Aside from the public reporting and attest functions, almost everything accountants do is subject to serious and growing competition.
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.
The actions of TBS (and other potential consolidators, such as HRB Business Services or Century Business Services) are a threat to the smaller CPA firms where attest functions are not a significant part of the practice.
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. The CPA firm has the right to hire its own personnel or lease employees from any outside firm.
Unlike most professions, where practice remains largely within the regulatory franchise, the CPA profession has leveraged a relatively narrow franchise (the attest function) into a conglomeration of services.