Assurance Services: The Expansion Of The CPAs’ Traditional Services In Local CPA Firms

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Ronald O. Reed
Thomas Buchman

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Abstract

The accounting profession has and is undergoing change in the traditional services that they are providing to their clients. This change is due to market and technological factors, such as: com- petition in the industry, demand for timely and relevant information for decision-making, de- mand for reliability of that information, and many other factors that are a result of the shift into an information and service oriented society. The profession is trying to change with these con- ditions. In 1993, the AICPA identified attestation services as the area earmarked for growth. Today, attestation services have been expanded into a new area of services referred to as, assur- ance services. Assurance services are considered the wave of the future, as well as, the lifeboat needed to keep the profession afloat. This study surveys local CPA firms in order to determine if they are changing and moving into the new assurance services area. This study addresses whether local firms are following the projected slow growth trend towards attestation and away from historically financial services. Also, this study addresses the research results of the Special Committee on Assurance Services to determine whether local CPA firms are performing assurance services, whether they are expe- riencing growth or decline in specified areas, and whether they are using the suggestions and recommendations of the Assurance Services Committee. The results indicate that attestation services appear to be continuing to grow at the modest growth trend that was projected in the 1993 study. There has been and appears that there will continue to be a move toward more attestation services, but that traditional services will still be very important. However, the assurance services are not experiencing the same sort of growth as attestation services. This lack of growth could be attributable to several factors.

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