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Acting on its view that that Independence Standards Board should consider the accounting profession's self-regulatory bodies' experience with independence issues, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy requested that a representative from its organization be appointed to the ISB.

The request was an outgrowth of a discussion at NASBA's board of directors' January meeting regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission's response to the AICPA white paper to the ISB, Serving the Public Interest: A New Conceptual Framework for Auditor Independence. (See the March issue of The CPA Journal for a related story.)

At the meeting, NASBA Chair Sarah Blake commented on the common purpose of the SEC staff and the NASBA ethics committee, and a discussion arose on the importance of stressing the concept of "independence" in the profession, as opposed to accepting the white paper and its primary emphasis on "objectivity." As a result, NASBA President and CEO David A. Costello sent a letter to ISB Chair William T. Allen formally requesting that Blake be appointed to the ISB.

Blake told The CPA Journal that there is some concern about maintaining an equal number of representatives from the accounting profession and the pubic (the makeup of the ISB includes four representatives from the profession and four public members) but that the ISB promised to rethink its make-up in the future and consider NASBA's request.

On a related issue, NASBA recently formed a joint task force on ethics with the AICPA. The task force will the review the AICPA code of professional conduct, which also is incorporated by reference into most state board ethics codes. Members of the joint task force are Dennis Spackman (task force co-chair, and current chair of the NASBA Ethics Committee); J. Gordon Reische and Harold Russell, representing the NASBA; Frank J. Pearlman (task force co-chair, and current chair of the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee); Robert L. Gray (also publisher and editor-in-chief of The CPA Journal); and Russell V. Meyers, representing the AICPA.

The CPA Journal is broadly recognized as an outstanding, technical-refereed publication aimed at public practitioners, management, educators, and other accounting professionals. It is edited by CPAs for CPAs. Our goal is to provide CPAs and other accounting professionals with the information and news to enable them to be successful accountants, managers, and executives in today's practice environments.

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