New York (June 19, 2003) -- The New York State Senate passed a landmark bill Thursday that more strictly oversees the accounting profession through state registration, stronger education requirements, and mandatory peer review.The bill, which must still be approved by the Assembly and signed by Gov. George Pataki, is the first revision of the state's accountancy laws since 1947.The measure is a slightly altered version of legislation proposed by the New York State Society of CPAs, which strongly supports the bill's passage."The legislation will protect the public interest by updating the laws governing the practice of public accountancy in New York, without imposing an adverse economic consequence on the many small businesses and not-for-profit organizations served by CPA firms across the state," said NYSSCPA executive director Lou Grumet.The legislation would make all CPAs subject to state registration, regulation and professional discipline -- not just firms that perform public audits. It would also mandate that all CPAs, including those in private industry, meet substantial CPE requirements.In addition, CPA firms, not just individual licensees, will be subject to stiff fines for professional misconduct, and the current voluntary peer review program will become mandatory for all CPA firms that offer attest or compilation services and will be done under the auspices of state regulators.The bill has been sent to the New York State Assembly where a companion bill is currently being reviewed by the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
-- Tracey Miller-Segarra
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