WSR 98-01-224

PROPOSED RULES

BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY

[Filed December 24, 1997, 11:50 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-22-072.

Title of Rule: WAC 4-25-410 Definitions.

Purpose: To amend rule to add the definition of the term "attest services" as it applies to Washington state regulations.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.04.055(11).

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 18.04.055(11).

Summary: Defines terms used throughout the board's rules (chapter 4-25 WAC) for clarity. This amendment clearly defines the use of the term "attest services."

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The existing rule excludes the definition of "attest services." The term attest is used by the accounting profession and its standard setting bodies for different purposes and with differing meanings. Amendment to the rule will clearly define the use of the term as it applies to Washington state regulations. The goal of the amendment is to:

Promote clarity.

Ensure effective communication.

Ensure fairness in interpretation and application of the rule.

Promote efficiencies through minimizing gray areas.

Address the need to protect the public through regulation of the practice of public accountancy and enhancing the reliability of information.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Dana M. McInturff, CPA, 210 East Union, Suite A, Olympia, (360) 664-9194.

Name of Proponent: Board of Accountancy, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: WAC 4-25-410 defines terms used throughout the board's rules. This amendment adds the definition of the term "attest services" as it applies to Washington state regulations.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Adds the definition of the term "attest services."

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rule will have negligible economic impact on the accounting profession.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The Board of Accountancy is not one of the agencies required to submit to the requirements of RCW 34.05.328.

Hearing Location: Bank of California Building, 900 4th Avenue, 24th Floor, Attorney General Training Center, Seattle, WA, on Thursday, January 29, 1998, at 9:30 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Cheryl Sexton by January 26, 1998, TDD (800) 833-6384, or (360) 664-9194.

Submit Written Comments to: Dana M. McInturff, P.O. Box 9131, Olympia, WA 98507-9131, FAX (360) 664-9190, by January 28, 1998.

Date of Intended Adoption: January 29, 1998.

December 22, 1997

Dana M. McInturff, CPA

Executive Director

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 94-23-071, filed 11/15/94, effective 12/16/94)

WAC 4-25-410 Definitions. For purposes of these rules the following terms have the meanings indicated:

(1) "Act" means the Public Accountancy Act codified as chapter 18.04 RCW.

(2)(a) "Audit," "review," and "compilation" are terms reserved by the public accountancy profession to identify forms of reports on financial statements that express differing levels of assurance. Professional standards setting bodies, such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), specify form and content of these reports.

(b) "Attest services" include services performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, standards for attestation engagements and standards for accounting and review services.

(3) "Board" means the board of accountancy created by RCW 18.04.035.

(4) "Certificate" means a certificate as a certified public accountant issued under this chapter, or a corresponding certificate issued by another state or foreign jurisdiction that is recognized in accordance with the reciprocity provisions of RCW 18.04.180 and 18.04.183. "Valid CPA certificate" means the holder has fully complied with continuing professional education requirements or the board has granted specific exemption from continuing professional education requirements, with or without restricting use of the CPA title.

(5) "Client" means the person or entity that retains a CPA, through other than an employer/employee relationship, for the performance of professional services.

(6) "CPE" means continuing professional education (see also "Interactive CPE").

(7) "Enterprise" means any person or entity, whether organized for profit or not, with respect to which a CPA performs professional services.

(8) "Firm" means a sole proprietorship, a corporation, a limited liability company, or a partnership.

(9) "Generally accepted accounting principles" (GAAP) is a technical accounting term that encompasses the conventions, rules, and procedures necessary to define accepted accounting practice at a particular time. It includes not only broad guidelines of general application, but also detailed practices and procedures. Those conventions, rules, and procedures provide a standard by which to measure financial presentations.

(10) "Generally accepted auditing standards" (GAAS) are broad conceptual guidelines, promulgated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), for conducting individual audits of historical financial statements. They include general standards, standards of field work, and reporting standards.

(11) "Holding out" means any representation to the public by the use of restricted titles as set forth in RCW 18.04.345 by a person or firm that the person or firm is a certified public accountant and that the person or firm offers to perform any professional services to the public as a certified public accountant. "Holding out" shall not affect or limit a person not required to hold a certificate under this chapter or a person or firm not required to hold a license under this chapter from engaging in practices identified in RCW 18.04.350(6).

(12) "Interactive self-study program" means a CPE program designed to use interactive learning methodologies that simulate a classroom learning process by employing software or administrative systems that provide significant ongoing interactive feedback to learners regarding their learning progress.

(13) "Licensee" means the holder of a valid license issued under chapter 18.04 RCW.

(14) "Public practice" or the "practice of public accounting" means performing or offering to perform by a person or firm holding itself out to the public as a licensee, for a client or potential client, one or more kinds of services involving the use of accounting or auditing skills, including the issuance of "audit reports," "review reports," "compilation reports," or "attestation reports" on financial statements, or one or more kinds of management advisory, or consulting services, or the preparation of tax returns, or the furnishing of advice on tax matters.

(15) "Quality assurance review" (QAR) means a process, established by and conducted at the direction of the board, of study, appraisal, or review of one or more aspects of the professional work of a person or firm in the practice of public accountancy, by a person or persons who hold certificates and who are not affiliated with the person or firm being reviewed.

(16) "Quality review" means a study, appraisal, or review of one or more aspects of the professional work of a person or firm in the practice of public accountancy, by a person or persons who hold certificates and who are not affiliated with the person or firm being reviewed, including a peer review, or any internal review or inspection intended to comply with quality control policies and procedures but not including a "quality assurance review."

(17) "Reciprocity" means board recognition of certificates or other professional accounting credentials that the board will rely upon in full or partial satisfaction of CPA certification requirements. This board may grant reciprocity, by rule, to CPAs from other states or to certain professional accountants from countries whose credentials are recognized by this board. Board recognition of professional credentials issued by other state accountancy boards or foreign credentialing bodies is conditioned on those bodies' agreements to grant reciprocity to this board's licensees.

(18) "Reports on financial statements" means any reports or opinions prepared by certified public accountants, based on services performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, standards for attestation engagements, or standards for accounting and review services, as to whether the presentation of information used for guidance in financial transactions or for accounting for or assessing the status or performance of commercial and noncommercial enterprises, whether public, private, or governmental, conforms with generally accepted accounting principles or other comprehensive bases of accounting. The term does not include incidental financial data included in management advisory services reports to support recommendations to a client.

(19) "Rules of professional conduct" means principles and rules adopted by the board to govern CPAs' conduct while representing themselves to others as CPAs. The rules apply to CPAs whether engaged in public practice or otherwise engaged in providing professional services while using the CPA title.

(20) "Statements on standards for accounting and review services" (SSARS) are standards, promulgated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), to give guidance to CPAs who are associated with the financial statements of nonpublic companies and issue compilation or review reports.

(21) "Statements on standards for attestation engagements" are guidelines, promulgated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), for use by CPAs in attesting to assertions involving matters other than historical financial statements and for which no other standards exist.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055(11). 94-23-071, 4-25-410, filed 11/15/94, effective 12/16/94.]

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