The AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) released a podcast that summarizes the November 2019 open meeting and other fourth quarter activities, which are as follows:
Strategy and Work Plan: the PEEC provided feedback on the proposed 3-year strategy and work plan, slated for a November 2019 release. (Note: this is the subject of another blog post dated November 18, 2019.)
Staff Augmentation: Responding to concerns raised by PEEC members representing the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and NASBA's comment letter and subsequent feedback from state board representatives, the task force presented a revised proposed independence interpretation for staff augmentation. Members raised various concerns and were divided on the revisions, which some viewed as too prescriptive. The task force agreed to consider the PEEC's feedback and possibly present further revisions to the proposed interpretation to PEEC at its February meeting.
Inducements: The task force will consider the PEEC's feedback on its draft practice aid and present an updated version at the PEEC's February meeting.
Hosting Services: The PEEC provided feedback on several frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) on hosting services, which following editorial and fatal flaw reviews, will be made available on the AICPA web site.
Noncompliance with Laws and Regulations (NOCLAR): The joint PEEC/NASBA Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) task force (and subsequently PEEC, by formal vote) agreed to encourage the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) to consider a change in the auditing standards that would require communication about a client's NOCLAR between a predecessor and successor auditor without client consent under certain conditions. The ASB has taken up the project, which is being considered on an expedited basis.
Records Requests: The PEEC discussed the Code's interpretation on records requests, specifically whether a member should be able to withhold client records when the client fails to pay the member reasonable fees related to the provision of the records. Members did not believe the Code's intent was to allow a member to withhold client records under those circumstances. The PEEC also discussed whether a member should be able to charge the client shipping fees, when applicable (currently, the interpretation is silent). The PEEC agreed to form a task force to consider both issues and whether to modify the Code.
PEEC will hold its next open meeting on February 11, 2020.