The purpose of this White Paper is to assist in providing transparency to the users of CPA firm services and the public at large regarding a CPA firm’s identity, by promoting uniformity among the various state boards of accountancy regarding their rules on CPA firm names, and where appropriate, recommend revisions to the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) with respect to its rules concerning firm names.
In September 2008, the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy formed a joint study group to study CPA firm names.
Inconsistent guidance and practice currently exists among the state boards of accountancy surrounding the use of permissible CPA firm names. This inconsistency has made it increasingly difficult for CPA firms to register under the same firm name in some states, thus failing to promote transparency to users and the public at large regarding a firm’s identity. To assist state boards and CPAs in assessing what would be considered a permissible CPA firm name, the CPA Firm Name Study Group has proposed the non-authoritative guidance contained in this White Paper.
The proposed guidance included in this White Paper focuses on whether the use of a CPA firm name is misleading, and the Study Group has provided criteria and examples of what might be considered to be a misleading firm name.
The Study Group held extensive discussions and deliberations in arriving at the conclusions and recommendations contained in this White Paper. Where appropriate, this White Paper includes the rationale for the conclusions reached by the Study Group.
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