Watch Your Appearance

BY DAVID J. HOLLISTER

In Test Your Knowledge of Professional Ethics ( JofA, Oct.02, page 110), the answer to question no. 4 indicated that the CPA firm would be independent because the engagement partners mother-in-law (also the clients controller) is not considered a close relative or immediate family under the new independence rules.

The answer to this question may technically be correct, but I was under the impression that a CPA also must avoid any circumstance in which the appearance of not being independent is a possibility. In my opinion this clearly is a situation in which an appearance of a lack of independence should be considered.

If the answer to this question is really correct, then it is no wonder our profession has come under intense criticism by the public. Because I doubted the accuracy of the answer to question 4, I asked my wife for her opinion. She has no technical knowledge of independence rules, but there was no doubt in her immediate reply that the auditor would not be independent.

Is this really what you want to teach the AICPA membership?

David J. Hollister, CPA
Ellenton, Florida

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