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AICPA Issues Exposure Draft on Revised Interpretative Guidance

Prepared by its Professional Ethics Executive Committee (“PEEC”), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) has released an exposure draft on potential revisions associated with the organization’s interpretative guidance for professional conduct. Issued on August 29th for public comment, Omnibus Proposal of Revised Interpretations proposes a limited exception to the interpretation of “client affiliate” under the Independence Rule, as well as the definition of “attest client” concerning a firm or individual completing an attest engagement.

Per the proposal, the “client affiliate” limited exception would be used when an accountant’s independence is impaired due to an attest client being acquired by a non-attest client of the firm. The PEEC said the limited exception proposal would not consider an accountant’s independence to be impaired on condition that the attest engagement includes only periods preceding the acquisition, and the accountant will not continue offering financial statement attest services to the acquirer. In addition, the proposed “attest client” definition revision would mean a client engaging with an accountant to perform an attest engagement, or regarding an accountant performing an attest engagement.

Another proposed term change is “Campaign Treasurer” to “Individual in a Campaign Financial Position”. In response to some governments not using the former term, the PEEC believes guidance should be more flexible and include the responsibilities of treasurers. Further, the PEEC stated that the guidance is to be applied irrespective of which position a political candidate is running for, and regardless if he or she is running for election or re-election.

Comments on Omnibus Proposal of Revised Interpretations are due to the AICPA by October 29th.

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