(1) It is the policy of this state and the purpose of this chapter:
(a) To promote the dependability of information which is used for guidance in financial transactions or for accounting for or assessing the status or performance of commercial and noncommercial enterprises, whether public, private or governmental; and
(b) To protect the public interest by requiring that:
(i) Persons who hold themselves out as licensees or certificate holders conduct themselves in a competent, ethical, and professional manner;
(ii) A public authority be established that is competent to prescribe and assess the qualifications of certified public accountants, including certificate holders who are not licensed for the practice of public accounting;
(iii) Persons other than licensees refrain from using the words "audit," "review," and "compilation" when designating a report customarily prepared by someone knowledgeable in accounting;
(iv) A public authority be established to provide for consumer alerts and public protection information to be published regarding persons or firms who violate the provisions of chapter 294, Laws of 2001 or board rule and to provide general consumer protection information to the public; and
(v) The use of accounting titles likely to confuse the public be prohibited.
(2) The purpose of chapter 294, Laws of 2001 is to make revisions to chapter 234, Laws of 1983 and chapter 103, Laws of 1992 to: Fortify the public protection provisions of chapter 294, Laws of 2001; establish one set of qualifications to be a licensee; revise the regulations of certified public accountants; make revisions in the ownership of certified public accounting firms; assure to the greatest extent possible that certified public accountants from Washington state are substantially equivalent with certified public accountants in other states and can therefore perform the duties of certified public accountants in as many states and countries as possible; assure certified public accountants from other states and countries have met qualifications that are substantially equivalent to the certified public accountant qualifications of this state; and clarify the authority of the board of accountancy with respect to the activities of persons holding licenses and certificates under this chapter. It is not the intent of chapter 294, Laws of 2001 to in any way restrict or limit the activities of persons not holding licenses or certificates under this chapter except as otherwise specifically restricted or limited by chapter 234, Laws of 1983 and chapter 103, Laws of 1992.
(3) A purpose of chapter 103, Laws of 1992, revising provisions of chapter 234, Laws of 1983, is to clarify the authority of the board of accountancy with respect to the activities of persons holding certificates under this chapter. Furthermore, it is not the intent of chapter 103, Laws of 1992 to in any way restrict or limit the activities of persons not holding certificates under this chapter except as otherwise specifically restricted or limited by chapter 234, Laws of 1983.
[2001 c 294 § 1; 1992 c 103 § 1; 1983 c 234 § 2.]
| Effective date -- 2001 c 294: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect July 1, 2001." [2001 c 294 § 24.]|