1.  Only licensees may issue a report on financial statements of any person, firm, organization or governmental unit or offer to render or render any attest service.  Such restriction shall not prohibit any act of a public official or public employee in the performance of the person’s duties as such; nor prohibit the performance by any nonlicensee of other services involving the use of accounting skills, including the preparation of tax returns, management advisory services and the preparation of nonattest financial statements.  Nonlicensees may prepare financial statements and issue nonattest transmittals or information thereon which do not purport to be in compliance with the Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS).

 2.  Only certified public accountants shall use or assume the title certified public accountant, or the abbreviation CPA or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card or device tending to indicate that such person is a certified public accountant.  Nothing in this section shall prohibit:

Terms Used In Missouri Laws 326.292

  • Board: the Missouri state board of accountancy established under section Missouri Laws 326.256
  • Certificate: a certificate issued under section Missouri Laws 326.256
  • Certified public accounting firm: "CPA firm" or "firm", a sole proprietorship, a corporation, a partnership or any other form of organization issued a permit under section Missouri Laws 326.256
  • Client: a person or entity that agrees with a licensee or licensee's employer to receive any professional service. See Missouri Laws 326.256
  • Compilation: providing a service to be performed in accordance with Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS) that is presented in the form of financial statements information that is the representation of management (owners) without undertaking to express any assurance on the statements. See Missouri Laws 326.256
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • CPA: the holder of a certificate or license as defined in this section. See Missouri Laws 326.256
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Entitlement: A Federal program or provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by law. Entitlements constitute a binding obligation on the part of the Federal Government, and eligible recipients have legal recourse if the obligation is not fulfilled. Social Security and veterans' compensation and pensions are examples of entitlement programs.
  • Executor: includes administrator where the subject matter applies to an administrator. See Missouri Laws 1.020
  • following: when used by way of reference to any section of the statutes, mean the section next preceding or next following that in which the reference is made, unless some other section is expressly designated in the reference. See Missouri Laws 1.020
  • License: a license issued under section Missouri Laws 326.256
  • Licensee: the holder of a license as defined in this section. See Missouri Laws 326.256
  • Manager: a manager of a limited liability company. See Missouri Laws 326.256
  • Member: a member of a limited liability company. See Missouri Laws 326.256
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • Permit: a permit to practice as a certified public accounting firm issued under section Missouri Laws 326.256
  • person: may extend and be applied to bodies politic and corporate, and to partnerships and other unincorporated associations. See Missouri Laws 1.020
  • Professional: arising out of or related to the specialized knowledge or skills associated with certified public accountants. See Missouri Laws 326.256
  • Report: when used with reference to any attest or compilation service, means an opinion, report or other form of language that states or implies assurance as to the reliability of the attested information or compiled financial statements, and that also includes or is accompanied by any statement or implication that the person or firm issuing it has special knowledge or competence in accounting or auditing. See Missouri Laws 326.256
  • State: any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U. See Missouri Laws 326.256
  • this state: means the state of Missouri. See Missouri Laws 326.256
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.

 (1)  A certified public accountant whose certificate was in full force and effect, issued pursuant to the laws of this state prior to August 28, 2001, and who does not engage in the practice of public accounting, auditing, bookkeeping or any similar occupation, from using the title certified public accountant or abbreviation CPA;

 (2)  A person who holds a certificate, then in force and effect, issued pursuant to the laws of this state prior to August 28, 2001, and who is regularly employed by or is a director or officer of a corporation, partnership, association or business trust, in his or her capacity as such, from signing, delivering or issuing any financial, accounting or related statement, or report thereon relating to such corporation, partnership, association or business trust provided the capacity is so designated, and provided in the signature line the title CPA or certified public accountant is not designated.

 3.  No firm shall provide attest or compilation services or assume or use the title certified public accountants or the abbreviation CPAs, or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card or device tending to indicate that such firm is a certified public accounting firm unless:

 (1)  The firm holds a valid permit issued under section 326.289 or is a firm exempt from the permit requirement under subdivisions (2) and (3) of subsection 1 of section 326.289 and complies with all other applicable provisions of that section; and

 (2)  Ownership of the firm is in accord with section 326.289 and rules promulgated by the board.

 4.  Only persons holding a valid license or permit issued under section 326.280 or 326.289, or persons qualifying for the privilege to practice under section 326.283, and firms exempt from the permit requirement under subsection 1 of section 326.289, shall assume or use the title certified accountant, chartered accountant, enrolled accountant, licensed accountant, registered accountant, accredited accountant or any other title or designation likely to be confused with the titles certified public accountant or public accountant, or use any of the abbreviations CA, LA, RA, AA or similar abbreviation likely to be confused with the abbreviation CPA or PA.  The title enrolled agent or EA shall only be used by individuals so designated by the Internal Revenue Service.  Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use or issuance of a title for nonattest services provided that the organization and the title issued by the organization existed prior to August 28, 2001.

 5.  (1)  Nonlicensees shall not use language in any statement relating to the financial affairs of a person or entity that is conventionally used by certified public accountants in reports on financial statements.  Nonlicensees may use the following safe harbor language:

 (a)  For compilations:

“I (We) have prepared the accompanying (financial statements) of (name of entity) as of (time period) for the (period) then ended.  This presentation is limited to preparing in the form of a financial statement information that is the representation of management (owners).  I (We) have not audited or reviewed the accompanying financial statements and accordingly do not express an opinion or any other form of assurance on them.”

 (b)  For reviews:

“I (We) reviewed the accompanying (financial statements) of (name of entity) as of (time period) for the (period) then ended.  These financial statements (information) are (is) the responsibility of the company’s management.  I (We) have not audited the accompanying financial statements and accordingly do not express an opinion or any other form of assurance on them.”.

 (2)  Only persons or firms holding a valid license or permit issued under section 326.280 or 326.289 shall assume or use any title or designation that includes the words accountant or accounting in connection with any other language, including the language of a report, that implies that the person or firm holds a license or permit or has special competence as an accountant or auditor; provided, however, that this subsection shall not prohibit any officer, partner, principal, member, manager or employee of any firm or organization from affixing such person’s own signature to any statement in reference to the financial affairs of the firm or organization with any wording designating the position, title or office that the person holds therein nor prohibit any act of a public official or employee in the performance of the person’s duties as such.  Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the singular use of “accountant” or “accounting” for nonattest purposes.

 6.  Licensees signing or authorizing someone to sign reports on financial statements when performing attest or compilation services shall provide those services in accordance with professional standards as determined by the board by rule.

 7.  No licensee or firm holding a permit under sections 326.280 to 326.289 shall use a professional or firm name or designation that is misleading about the legal form of the firm, or about the persons who are partners, principals, officers, members, managers or shareholders of the firm, or about any other matter.

 8.  None of the foregoing provisions of this section shall apply to a person or firm holding a certification, designation, degree or license granted in a foreign country entitling the holder to engage in the practice of public accounting or its equivalent in the country whose activities in this state are limited to the provision of professional services to persons or firms who are residents of, governments of, or business entities of the country in which the person holds the entitlement, who performs no attest or compilation services and who issues no reports with respect to the financial statements of any other persons, firms or governmental units in this state, and who does not use in this state any title or designation other than the one under which the person practices in such country, followed by a translation of such title or designation into the English language, if it is in a different language, and by the name of such country.

 9.  No licensee shall perform attest or compilation services through any certified public accounting firm that does not hold a valid permit issued under section 326.289.

 10.  Nothing herein shall prohibit a practicing attorney or firm of attorneys from preparing or presenting records or documents customarily prepared by an attorney or firm of attorneys in connection with the attorney’s professional work in the practice of law.

 11.  Nothing herein shall prohibit any trustee, executor, administrator, referee or commissioner from signing and certifying financial reports incident to his or her duties in that capacity.

 12.  Nothing herein shall prohibit any director or officer of a corporation, partner or a partnership, sole proprietor of a business enterprise, member of a joint venture, member of a committee appointed by stockholders, creditors or courts, or an employee of any of the foregoing, in his or her capacity as such, from signing, delivering or issuing any financial, accounting or related statement, or report thereon, relating to the corporation, partnership, business enterprise, joint venture or committee, provided the capacity is designated on the statement or report.

 13.  (1)  A licensee shall not for a commission recommend or refer to a client any product or service, or for a commission recommend or refer any product or service to be supplied by a client, or receive a commission, when the licensee also performs for that client:

 (a)  Attest services; or

 (b)  A compilation of a financial statement when the licensee expects, or reasonably may expect, that a third party will use the financial statement and the licensee’s compilation report does not disclose a lack of independence; or

 (c)  An examination of prospective financial information.

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Such prohibition applies during the period in which the licensee is engaged to perform any of the services listed above and the period covered by any historical financial statements involved in such listed services.

 (2)  A licensee who is not prohibited by this section from performing services for or receiving a commission and who is paid or expects to be paid a commission shall disclose in writing that fact to any person or entity to whom the licensee recommends or refers a product or service to which the commission relates.

 (3)  Any licensee who accepts a referral fee for recommending or referring any service of a licensee to any person or entity or who pays a referral fee to obtain a client shall disclose in writing the acceptance or payment to the client.

 14.  (1)  A licensee shall not:

 (a)  Perform for a contingent fee any professional services for, or receive a fee from, a client for whom the licensee or the licensees’s firm performs:

 a.  Attest services;

 b.  A compilation of a financial statement when the licensee expects, or reasonably might expect, that a third party will use the financial statement and the licensee’s compilation report does not disclose a lack of independence; or

 c.  An examination of prospective financial information;

 (b)  Prepare an original tax return or claim for a tax refund for a contingent fee for any client; or

 (c)  Prepare an amended tax return or claim for a tax refund for a contingent fee for any client, unless permitted by board rule.

 (2)  The prohibition in subdivision (1) of this subsection applies during the period in which the licensee is engaged to perform any of those services and the period covered by any historical financial statements involved in any services.

 (3)  A contingent fee is a fee established for the performance of any service pursuant to an arrangement in which no fee will be charged unless a specified finding or result is attained, or in which the amount of the fee is otherwise dependent upon the finding or result of the service.  Solely for purposes of this section, fees are not regarded as being contingent if fixed by courts or other public authorities, or, in tax matters, if determined based on the results of judicial proceedings or the findings of governmental agencies.  A licensee’s fees may vary depending, for example, on the complexity of services rendered.

 15.  Any person who violates any provision of subsections 1 to 5 of this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.  Whenever the board has reason to believe that any person has violated this section it may certify the facts to the attorney general of this state or bring other appropriate proceedings.