State Board Report

November 2010

The Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy’s peer review requirement is being challenged by a CPA firm as being “arbitrary and capricious in nature, and not tied to any ascertainable standard or methodology.” On November 8, NASBA submitted its amicus curiae brief in support of the Board’s position in the case of Scott A. Whisenant, CPA d/b/a Whisenant & Associates v. Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy, in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, AL.

In the amicus, NASBA legal counsel Noel L. Allen points out that: (1) the vast majority of states also require peer review per the Uniform Accountancy Act; (2) other states’ courts and attorneys general have upheld similar peer review programs; (3) peer review is a means of public protection; and (4) if Alabama cannot enforce its peer review requirement, Alabama CPAs and CPA firms might not qualify for mobility, which would then require such licensees to register in each other state in which they offer or render attest services. The amicus references cases from South Dakota, Nebraska and Missouri in support of its arguments.

The brief states: “The peer review requirements set forth in the UAA and in the rules of numerous state boards across the United States are of critical importance to the regulation of accountancy. Specifically, peer review programs help to ensure that: 1) CPA licensees have developed appropriate procedures to maintain quality control over their work; 2) CPA licensees are following quality control procedures in practice; and 3) CPA licensees are complying with professional and ethical standards.”

The amicus curiae brief can be found on NASBA’s Web site www.nasba.org.

Review case in its entirety at Whisenant & Associates v. ASBPA

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