How to respond to subpoenas

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?

The New 'Hosting Services' Interpretation

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.

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