Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Texas Turf War Ends Peacefully

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Texas Turf War Ends Peacefully

Article excerpt

It wasn't as violent as the Old West battles between sheep farmers and cattlemen, but a legal skirmish in Texas revealed long-standing mistrust between lawyers and CPAs. Arthur Andersen LLP was accused of engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. But, after an 11-month investigation, the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of the Texas Supreme Court dismissed all charges before the firm even had a chance to fully present its own defense.

The complainant, whose identity was not publicly revealed, accused the firm of preparing legal documents and legal tax opinions on behalf of clients, among other violations. Andersen responded that some of the practices mentioned in the complaint are allowed under federal and state law and that it has written policies forbidding practices that are not. After the dismissal, an Andersen spokesman said publicly that the complaint was the result of lawyers' trying to expand their practices by curtailing some of the tax and accounting services Andersen clients had become accustomed to. Andersen also said that there has always been considerable overlap between tax lawyers and tax accountants, and it's best for the public to have a wide choice of professionals to turn to for tax services. …

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