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License Requirements for a CPA: the Value that a CPA Adds to a Company

A contract is awarded to the privately owned company that you work for. It will require the company to submit it's audited financial statements. Audits and audited financial statements are not familiar to the company's owner. Design a report for the owner as the Controller, and explain the work of independent CPAs, auditing standards, ethics in auditing, and how an audit could help your company reduce its information risk.


f. Examine the CPA profession and licensing requirements (Please use New York State's licensing requirements).
g. Explain the value of a licensed CPA (as an outside auditor) to your company.
h. Take current auditing standards and critique them.
i. Include in the audit process and their importance.
j. Examine the relation between reducing information risk for decision makers and the role of auditing.
k. Explain how independent audits could help the decision makers at your company.

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f. Examine the CPA profession and licensing requirements.

The standards for a licensed CPA are intended to be identical for all the states for ethics and professional standards, but the licensing requirements are a function of each state. It is curious that the CPA exam is a national exam, but administered at the state level, and even the process of the exam has differences from state to state. Beyond the exam, there are wide differences in the amount and type of education required to apply to take the exam and then to apply for licensing. The third element is the experience requirement which also varies from state to state. Education, exam and experience are the three common licensing requirements, but many states further require an ethics course and an ethics exam. Before Enron, et al, there were fewer states with ethics requirements. In a quick review of NY state requirements for CPAs, NY appears to be no different from many other states, but it is noteworthy that their experience requirements are changing in 2009 to become more stringent.

g. Explain how a licensed CPA (as an outside auditor) could be of value.

There are several values that a licensed CPA can bring to a company:
1. The educational background may be more extensive than that of any company employee for industry issues and general accounting.
2. The experience gained in the field with other clients can be invaluable.
3. The interaction with peers and the continuing education requirements for CPAs can again be useful to companies, particularly for changes in reporting.
4. The ...

Solution Summary

In a 1062 word solution, the response provides a good view to the qualities and values of CPAs including licensing requirements and ethics. In response to the question about how independent audits can assist decision-makers, the solution lists five valuable resources.