By Ron Klein, J.D.
CPA firms are often uncertain about whether or how to respond to a subpoena, as they also need to comply with a number of rules and regulations that are intended to protect client confidentiality. The following Q&A focuses on understanding the nature of subpoenas and how CPA firms can minimize their professional liability exposures when responding to them.
What is a subpoena?
Under the new "Hosting Services" ethics interpretation in the AICPA's Code of Professional Conduct (ET §1.295.143), effective July 1, 2019, CPA independence is impaired by taking responsibility for hosting a client's data or records. As such, if the only way that the client can access its complete records is through the CPA firm, the CPA firm's independence is deemed impaired.