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Chapter 2

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Describe the nature of CPA firms, what


they do, and their structure.
Understand the role of the Public
Company Accounting Oversight Board
and the effects of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
on the CPA profession.
Summarize the role of the Securities and
Exchange Commission in accounting and
auditing.
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Describe the functions performed by the


AICPA.
Understand the role of international
auditing standards and their relation to U.S.
auditing standards.
Use U.S. auditing standards as a basis for
further study.
Identify quality control standards and
practices within the accounting profession.
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1
Describe the nature of CPA firms,
what they do, and their structure.

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The legal right to perform audits is granted


to CPA firms by regulation in each state.
CPA firms also provide many other services to
their clients, such as tax and advisory services.
CPA firms continue to develop new products and
servicessuch as financial planning, business
valuation, forensic accounting, and information
technology advisory services.
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Big Four international firms


National firms
Regional and large local firms
Small local firms

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The four largest CPA firms in the United States


are called the Big Four international CPA firms.
These four firms have offices throughout the
United States and in many cities throughout
the world.

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Accounting and bookkeeping services


Tax services
Management consulting services

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Three main factors influence the organizational


structure of all firms:
1. The need for independence from clients.
2. The importance of a structure to encourage
competence.
3. The increased litigation risk faced by auditors.

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Proprietorship
General Partnership
General Corporation
Professional Corporation
Limited Liability Company
Limited Liability Partnership

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Average Experience

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2
Understand the role of the Public Company
Accounting Oversight Board and the effects of
the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on the CPA profession.

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This Act is considered by many observers to


be the most important legislation affecting
the auditing profession since the 1930s.
The provisions of the Act apply to publicly
held companies and their audit firms.

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SEC

PCAOB
(Public Company
Accounting
Oversight Board)

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Summarize the role of the Securities and Exchange
Commission in accounting and auditing.

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The purpose is to assist in providing investors


with reliable information upon which to make
investment decisions
The Securities Act of 1933
The Securities Exchange Act of 1934

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Form S-1
Form 8-K
Form 10-K
Form 10-Q

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Describe the key functions
performed by the AICPA.

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Performs the following services for CPAs:


Sets professional requirements
Conducts research
Publishes materials related to services
performed

Empowered to set standards (guidelines)


and rules
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1. Auditing standards
2. Compilation and review standards
3. Other attestation standards
4. Code of Professional Conduct

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The CPA examination


Research and Grants
Publishes a variety of materials
Provides seminars and
continuing education
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5
Understand the role of
international auditing standards
and their relation to U.S.
auditing standards

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Classification of Statements on Auditing Standards


GAAS and Standards of Performance

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IFAC is the worldwide organization


for the accountancy profession.

The IAASB works to improve the


uniformity of auditing practices and
related services throughout the world.

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Use U.S. auditing standards as a basis for
further study

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General Standards
1. Adequate training and proficiency
2. Independence in mental attitude
3. Due professional care

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Standards of Field Work


1. Proper planning and supervision
2. Understanding of the entity
3. Sufficient appropriate evidence

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Standards of Reporting
1. Statements prepared in accordance with GAAP
2. Circumstances when GAAP not followed
3. Adequacy of disclosures
4. Expression of opinion on financial statements

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PCAOB

Public
company
audits

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GAAS

Private
company
audits

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The 10 generally accepted auditing standards


are too general to provide meaningful guidance.
SAS interpret the 10 generally accepted
auditing standards and are the most
authoritative references available to auditors.

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7
Identify quality control standards and practices
within the accounting profession.

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Leadership responsibilities for quality


Relevant ethical requirements
Acceptance and continuation of clients
and engagements
Human resources
Engagement performance
Monitoring

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CPA
examination

Quality
control

Auditing
standards

Continuing
education
requirements

Conduct of
CPA firm
personnel

Legal
liability

Peer
review
PCAOB
and SEC
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Code of
Professional
Conduct

AICPA practice
and quality
centers

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Copyright

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may


be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,
without the prior written permission of the
publisher. Printed in the United States of America.
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