A sixty-year old copyright on professional standards owned by the American Institute of CPAs was the subject of discussion this week in Washington, as the AICPA sat down with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to determine how to transition the standard setting responsibility.
Last month the PCAOB agreed to temporarily adopt AICPA auditing standards until they have time to develop their own. At issue is the question of whether royalty payments should be due to the AICPA as the copyright owner of those standards.
The AICPA had been the body responsible for standard setting for the profession for more than six decades, but that responsibility was stripped from the organization following the recent accounting scandals that have emerged over the past eighteen months.
AICPA spokesperson Linda Dunbar told The Washington Post that the copyrighted materials bring significant revenue into the Institute, and the practice of copyrighting professional standards is common among professional associations like the AICPA. "The meeting was really in the spirit of cooperating and brainstorming," Dunbar added.
Talks are expected to continue on this and other issues as the two organizations further define their ongoing roles in the oversight and advocacy of the accounting profession.