The leadership of the National Conference of CPA Practitioners (NCCPAP) announced today their concerns regarding the fallout from the events surrounding Enron. The leadership of the organization believes that this situation has the potential to permanently tarnish the reputation of this country’s Certified Public Accounting community.
“Measuring the damage suffered by hard working taxpayers may take months, but make no mistake, the damage is substantial. The National Conference of CPA Practitioners, the only national organization consisting solely of practicing CPAs, is concerned, not only for the enormous financial losses suffered by Enron employees and stockholders, but for honest hard working CPAs across the country that are working in the best interests of the public. As a national organization representing mostly smaller practice units, it has become incumbent upon us to reaffirm the public’s trust in CPAs as their trusted financial professional,” said Alan Feldstein, President of NCCPAP
“SEC Chairperson, Harvey L. Pitt, CPA has begun an investigation into the Enron situation. As accountants, we support the efforts of the SEC to protect investors and employees in these situations. His concern, however, is that the investigation will likely focus on failures in the auditing procedures of Certified Public Accountants and not the failures in the auditing practices of one firm and it’s client,” added Mr. Feldstein.
“Although the investigation and potential disciplinary proceedings will initially affect the approximately 1,200 accounting firms in the AICPA’s SEC practice section, they will come to affect every CPA and CPA firm in public practice. The assumption will be that the controls that failed to protect investors in the Enron collapse run rampant through the business community, this is simply not the case,” added Feldstein.
NCCPAP hosted an event in October 2000 with then SEC Chair, Arthur Levitt. The purpose of the invitation (and Mr. Levitt’s subsequent speech to the organization) was to express the commonality of concerns NCCPAP had with Mr. Levitt over the circumventing of independence rules in accounting.
“I am very concerned regarding additional government regulation of the profession. The regulation of the accounting profession as a whole from a separate government agency would be burdensome on the majority of accounting firms, and would not be as effective as the current peer review system,” stated Robert Goldfarb, CPA and NCCPAP’ Issues Committee Chair and Immediate Past President.
“We are glad to see the SEC will be working with the accounting profession to refine the current regulatory process, but we must resist the efforts to punish all accounting firms for these particular failures. The bottom line is that the large majority of CPA firms in the country do not have public companies as clients, however, we share the same high level of standards of practice in most respects. For the most part, our member firms in NCCPAP, service clients (individuals and businesses) in a variety of ways as productive partners. It is important to remember our clients are also the individuals who suffered the most in the wake of the Enron debacle,” said Goldfarb.
LIVE WORKSHOP AND OPEN FORUM
Please join us on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 at 3:00 pm EST in the AccountingWEB Workshop Room to discuss this issue presented by the leaders of NCCPAP.
Presented by National Conference of CPA Practitioners
February 20 workshop sponsored by National Conference of CPA Practitioners
The leadership of NCCPAP pledges to continue to speak out about issues that adversely affect the public and the accounting profession. Additional information about the National Conference of CPA Practitioners can be found at www.nccpap.org on the Internet.
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