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2018 Minnesota Statutes

326A.10 UNLAWFUL ACTS.

(a) Only a licensee and individuals who have been granted practice privileges under section 326A.14 may issue a report on financial statements of any person, firm, organization, or governmental unit that results from providing attest services, or offer to render or render any attest service. Only a certified public accountant, an individual who has been granted practice privileges under section 326A.14, a CPA firm, or, to the extent permitted by board rule, a person registered under section 326A.06, paragraph (b), may issue a report on financial statements of any person, firm, organization, or governmental unit that results from providing compilation services or offer to render or render any compilation service. These restrictions do not prohibit any act of a public official or public employee in the performance of that person's duties or 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 financial statements without the issuance of reports on them. Nonlicensees may prepare financial statements and issue nonattest transmittals or information on them which do not purport to be in compliance with the Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS). Nonlicensees registered under section 326A.06, paragraph (b), may, to the extent permitted by board rule, prepare financial statements and issue nonattest transmittals or information on them.

(b) Licensees and individuals who have been granted practice privileges under section 326A.14 performing attest or compilation services must provide those services in accordance with professional standards. To the extent permitted by board rule, registered accounting practitioners performing compilation services must provide those services in accordance with standards specified in board rule.

(c) A person who does not hold a valid certificate issued under section 326A.04 or a practice privilege granted under section 326A.14 shall not use or assume the title "certified public accountant," the abbreviation "CPA," or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the person is a certified public accountant.

(d) A firm shall not provide attest services or assume or use the title "certified public accountants," the abbreviation "CPA's," or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the firm is a CPA firm unless (1) the firm has complied with section 326A.05, and (2) ownership of the firm is in accordance with this chapter and rules adopted by the board.

(e) A person or firm that does not hold a valid certificate or permit issued under section 326A.04 or 326A.05 or has not otherwise complied with section 326A.04 or 326A.05 as required in this chapter shall not assume or use the title "certified accountant," "chartered accountant," "enrolled accountant," "licensed accountant," "registered accountant," "accredited accountant," "accounting practitioner," "public accountant," "licensed public accountant," or any other title or designation likely to be confused with the title "certified public accountant," or use any of the abbreviations "CA," "LA," "RA," "AA," "PA," "AP," "LPA," or similar abbreviation likely to be confused with the abbreviation "CPA." The title "enrolled agent" or "EA" may only be used by individuals so designated by the Internal Revenue Service.

(f) Persons registered under section 326A.06, paragraph (b), may use the title "registered accounting practitioner" or the abbreviation "RAP." A person who does not hold a valid registration under section 326A.06, paragraph (b), shall not assume or use such title or abbreviation.

(g) Except to the extent permitted in paragraph (a), nonlicensees may not use language in any statement relating to the financial affairs of a person or entity that is conventionally used by licensees in reports on financial statements or on an attest service. In this regard, the board shall issue by rule safe harbor language that nonlicensees may use in connection with such financial information. A person or firm that does not hold a valid certificate or permit, or a registration issued under section 326A.04, 326A.05, or 326A.06, paragraph (b), or has not otherwise complied with section 326A.04 or 326A.05 as required in this chapter shall not assume or use any title or designation that includes the word "accountant" or "accounting" in connection with any other language, including the language of a report, that implies that the person or firm holds such a certificate, permit, or registration or has special competence as an accountant. A person or firm that does not hold a valid certificate or permit issued under section 326A.04 or 326A.05 or has not otherwise complied with section 326A.04 or 326A.05 as required in this chapter shall not assume or use any title or designation that includes the word "auditor" in connection with any other language, including the language of a report, that implies that the person or firm holds such a certificate or permit or has special competence as an auditor. However, this paragraph does not prohibit any officer, partner, member, manager, or employee of any firm or organization from affixing that person's own signature to any statement in reference to the financial affairs of such firm or organization with any wording designating the position, title, or office that the person holds, nor prohibit any act of a public official or employee in the performance of the person's duties as such.

(h)(1) No person holding a certificate or registration or firm holding a permit under this chapter 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, officers, members, managers, or shareholders of the firm, or about any other matter. However, names of one or more former partners, members, managers, or shareholders may be included in the name of a firm or its successor.

(2) A common brand name or network name part, including common initials, used by a CPA firm in its name, is not misleading if the firm is a network firm as defined in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Code of Professional Conduct in effect July 1, 2011, and when offering or rendering services that require independence under AICPA standards, the firm must comply with the AICPA code's applicable standards on independence.

(i) Paragraphs (a) to (h) do not 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 accountancy or its equivalent in that country, if:

(1) the activities of the person or firm 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;

(2) the person or firm performs no attest or compilation services and issues no reports with respect to the information of any other persons, firms, or governmental units in this state; and

(3) the person or firm does not use in this state any title or designation other than the one under which the person practices in the foreign country, followed by a translation of the title or designation into English, if it is in a different language, and by the name of the country.

(j) No holder of a certificate issued under section 326A.04 may perform attest services through any business form that does not hold a valid permit issued under section 326A.05.

(k) No individual licensee may issue a report in standard form upon a compilation of financial information through any form of business that does not hold a valid permit issued under section 326A.05, unless the report discloses the name of the business through which the individual is issuing the report, and the individual:

(1) signs the compilation report identifying the individual as a certified public accountant;

(2) meets the competency requirement provided in applicable standards; and

(3) undergoes no less frequently than once every three years, a peer review conducted in a manner specified by the board in rule, and the review includes verification that the individual has met the competency requirements set out in professional standards for such services.

(l) No person registered under section 326A.06, paragraph (b), may issue a report in standard form upon a compilation of financial information unless the board by rule permits the report and the person:

(1) signs the compilation report identifying the individual as a registered accounting practitioner;

(2) meets the competency requirements in board rule; and

(3) undergoes no less frequently than once every three years a peer review conducted in a manner specified by the board in rule, and the review includes verification that the individual has met the competency requirements in board rule.

(m) Nothing in this section prohibits 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.

(n) The board shall adopt rules that place limitations on receipt by a licensee or a person who holds a registration under section 326A.06, paragraph (b), of:

(1) contingent fees for professional services performed; and

(2) commissions or referral fees for recommending or referring to a client any product or service.

(o) Anything in this section to the contrary notwithstanding, it shall not be a violation of this section for a firm not holding a valid permit under section 326A.05 and not having an office in this state to provide its professional services in this state so long as it complies with the applicable requirements of section 326A.05, subdivision 1.

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