Dallas (June 13, 2003) -- Lone Star legislators have given the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy a set of sharpened regulatory teeth, empowering the board with subpoena power, the authority to share information with other law enforcement agencies, and make information about disciplinary action more available to the public.

In addition, state lawmakers enacted felony penalty provisions, giving up to 20 years in prison for acts of intentional fraud, establishing a $25,000 fine for impersonating a CPA, and increased the maximum fine to $100,000 for violations of the accountancy act.

The legislature also mandated that the state board submit a report to the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house regarding what, if any, additional legislation is needed to address Sarbanes-Oxley requirements such as audit firm rotation, scope of services and client employment of audit personnel.

The report must be submitted by Dec. 31, 2004.

"Our members want CPAs who break the law to be held accountable for their actions,” said John Sharbaugh, chief executive of the Texas Society of CPAs. “We think these changes effectively balance the public's need for accurate and reliable information with the profession's need for practical and enforceable regulation."

-- WebCPA

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