Oklahoma Accountant Society Representatives Offer Legislative Compromise
Francis-Smith, Janice, THE JOURNAL RECORD
Two representatives of the Oklahoma Society of Accountants on Tuesday pointed out changes they would like to see in the Oklahoma Accountancy Act, and changes they think would put many accountants - and the companies they serve - out of business. An interim study committee met for the second time Tuesday to consider a study introduced by state Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City.
Peggy Johnson, a past president of the Oklahoma Society of Accountants and a current member of the board of directors for the national Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation, ran an accounting and tax service firm in Broken Arrow for 15 years, she said.
Though a certified public accountant herself, Johnson said the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has been pushing for states to adopt the institute's standards for both licensed and unlicensed accounting practices that serve to make money for the institute and could put thousands of practices in Oklahoma out of business.
There are those in the profession who continually seek additional restrictions, said Johnson. Much of this struggle within the profession is between the large firms who dominate the AICPA and the small firms, many of whom are not members of the AICPA.
While audits and review services require an accountant to perform some level of investigation and assure the accuracy of financial documents, compilation services, in which the accountant simply presents the client's information in the form of a financial statement, have long been performed by unlicensed accounting professionals, she said.
However, the AICPA has been advocating for states to adopt a law of its own making, the Uniform Accountancy Act, which would require compilations to be performed by licensed accountants. Additionally, the licensed accountant would need to adhere to AICPA standards, which include undergoing a peer review process every three years. Furthermore, licensees and firms that perform compilation services would not be permitted to accept commissions or contingent fees for services provided to compilation clients.
Barring the unlicensed from performing compilations would put thousands of small practices out of business, said Johnson. …