Thank you for the fact that Accounting Today continues to provide an independent voice for the CPA profession.Bill Carlino’s editorials are important because, as my following comments on one of his recent editorials indicates, I believe this profession is not just at a crossroads, or critical juncture, but teetering on the brink of complicity, and therefore irrelevance.

The given for this profession is that the only thing — I repeat, the only thing — that a CPA can do that no one else can do is perform and report on an independent certified financial audit.

This is our raison d’être, our reason to be! So, in his column “A work in progress” (Accounting Today, May 5-18, 2008), I was very disappointed to read what the Treasury Department’s Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession put forth after a year of work. Didn’t any of the dozen proposals they mulled suggest audit-only firms?

By this I mean the following:

1. Audit fees should be sufficient to pay CPAs who choose to be so employed an attractive, competitive professional income to do the only thing that they can do that no one else can do. The future of the world’s financial system may be at stake.

2. “Audit-only” must mean no tax preparation or other professional services, and no economic or formal professional connection with any non-audit firms or their owners.

3. A three-year rotation of audit firms, with the workpapers being transferred as well, with an independent storage agency receiving an archive copy at the date of transfer. The succeeding audit firm would have the responsibility to provide a public report on the work of the previous audit firm, and a private peer-review report to a formal professional governing body that is not the American Institute of CPAs.

Audit-only firms are a better mechanism for stepping back from the brink of complicity. It’s a better alternative than reacting to auditors being sentenced to prison for complicity in the perpetration of an accounting fraud upon investors.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Michael J. Daillak, CPA

Bakersfield, Calif.

Letters to the editor may be sent to

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