Accountant Forums


Reply
Thread Tools

What is Public Accounting?

 
 
TAM
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      07-18-2003, 05:16 PM
Hi,

Sorry for the very basic question but I want to know what is meant by Public
Accounting practice.

TAM




 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Paul A. Thomas
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      07-18-2003, 08:22 PM
"TAM" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
> Sorry for the very basic question but I want
> to know what is meant by Public Accounting practice.



Public accounting is offering your services to the general public. As
opposed to working for a private firm (generally one "client" that is in
reality, your employer). Then there are the government employees, educators
and other accountants that aren't in a public practice, providing their
services to the public at large.

Please note that some states prohibit (or have prohibited) the use of the
term "accounting" by folks that aren't licensed.


--
Paul A. Thomas, CPA
Athens, Georgia
(E-Mail Removed)




 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Jim Hudspeth
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      07-18-2003, 09:25 PM
On Fri, 18 Jul 2003 16:22:03 -0400, "Paul A. Thomas" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> "TAM" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
> > Sorry for the very basic question but I want
> > to know what is meant by Public Accounting practice.

>
>
> Public accounting is offering your services to the general public. As
> opposed to working for a private firm (generally one "client" that is in
> reality, your employer). Then there are the government employees, educators
> and other accountants that aren't in a public practice, providing their
> services to the public at large.
>
> Please note that some states prohibit (or have prohibited) the use of the
> term "accounting" by folks that aren't licensed.
>
>


For an in-depth study of the term go to google and search on the following:

definition: "practice of public accounting"


 
Reply With Quote
 
Charles King
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      07-25-2003, 11:08 AM
Good question. I'm a CPA and have often wondered why accountants say
they're in public accounting while lawyers claim to be in private
practice.
 
Reply With Quote
 
DGG
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      07-25-2003, 04:46 PM
Because lawyers wrote the rules. This is why, in Texas, an attorney
is the only professional who cannot have his licensed revoked for
nonpayment of court-ordered child support.

DGG
"Life was good until the second attorney came along"



On 25 Jul 2003 04:08:28 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (Charles
King) wrote:

>Good question. I'm a CPA and have often wondered why accountants say
>they're in public accounting while lawyers claim to be in private
>practice.


 
Reply With Quote
 
Jim Hudspeth
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      07-26-2003, 05:06 PM
On Fri, 25 Jul 2003 17:43:24 GMT, "TAM" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Charles, I agree with you. "Public Accounting" is a wrong term to refer to
> "private" accounting practice. I wonder how come nobody (accounting
> association, and accountants) has done to correct it. May be it made sense
> when the term came into existence and but now for sure it doesn't see
> descriptive.
> TAM
>
>


The terms are correct, however many accountants have forgotten their public
purpose and have tried to act like attorneys.

Fundamentally, it is an attorney's job to advocate for his client - therefore
the term "Private Practice".

Fundamentally, it is an accountant's job to tell it like it is, regardless
of how his client feels about it - therefore the term "Public Practice".

If the client refuses to accept the accountants ethical independence,
it is the accountants duty to refuse the engagement.

Jim Hudspeth




 
Reply With Quote
 
DGG
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      07-26-2003, 06:11 PM
I will be the first to tell you that I am not a historian when it
comes to your profession.

However, it is my guess that the term "public accountant" probably
originated when the attestation function gained government sanction as
a means to protect the *public* investors of a company. It was
probably a *comfort* term used to differentiate between the
bookkeepers employed by a company and those whose job it was to
*certify* the financials on behalf of the *public*.

This would be different from attorneys in *private* practice because
the only people who benefit from their actions are other attorneys.

DGG
"A moment of clarity in otherwise insane day"




On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 17:06:34 GMT, Jim Hudspeth
<jdhcpa@att.(NO_SPAM)net> wrote:

>On Fri, 25 Jul 2003 17:43:24 GMT, "TAM" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Charles, I agree with you. "Public Accounting" is a wrong term to refer to
>> "private" accounting practice. I wonder how come nobody (accounting
>> association, and accountants) has done to correct it. May be it made sense
>> when the term came into existence and but now for sure it doesn't see
>> descriptive.
>> TAM
>>
>>

>
>The terms are correct, however many accountants have forgotten their public
>purpose and have tried to act like attorneys.
>
>Fundamentally, it is an attorney's job to advocate for his client - therefore
>the term "Private Practice".
>
>Fundamentally, it is an accountant's job to tell it like it is, regardless
>of how his client feels about it - therefore the term "Public Practice".
>
>If the client refuses to accept the accountants ethical independence,
>it is the accountants duty to refuse the engagement.
>
>Jim Hudspeth
>
>
>


 
Reply With Quote
 
Ron Todd
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      07-27-2003, 02:35 AM
On 26 Jul 2003 17:35:57 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (Charles
King) wrote:

>If one assumes that the primary purpose of the accounting profession
>is the attest function and that lawyers are chiefly concerned with
>defending criminals (notwithstanding "public defenders")(and which
>occasionally includes public accountants), then you are probably


I think your going down the wrong path with that assumption.

I believe the correct characterization of the lawyer is that of an
advocate. The public accountant, OTOH, is independent of influence of
the parties and takes no position other than that of his independent
opinion.

However, I think that the long history of mis and malfeasance of
Public Accountants has shown this isn't what is really happening.

>right. However, there is a great deal of natural overlap among the
>professions today concerning the types of services provided and the
>degree of ethical consideration. I ask you, is there any real ethical
>difference stemming from an orientation to public or private interests
>amongst services provided such as audit opinions, legal opinions and
>prostitution?


*****************************************
Boycott list:

Belgium, France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, PRC, Iran, Syria,
Hollywood, San Francisco, Massachusetts, New York City, Sierra Club, ACLU,
Movies of the first blacklist, Turner, Madonna, S. Crowe, Dixie Chicks, Cher, U2, rapp,
Trudeau, W.Miller, Disney, ABC news, CBS news, NBC news, CNN, PBS,

Sometimes the only influence you have is to say, "No, I'm not buying."
 
Reply With Quote
 
Jim Hudspeth
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      07-27-2003, 06:26 AM
On 26 Jul 2003 17:35:57 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (Charles King) wrote:
> However, there is a great deal of natural overlap among the
> professions today concerning the types of services provided and the
> degree of ethical consideration.


I believe you are right, and I see that as a problem. If we (accountants) are
going to act like lawyers we should change our creed. When we practice as advocates
while claiming to be indepentents we betray ourselves, our clients, and the public.

> I ask you, is there any real ethical
> difference stemming from an orientation to public or private interests
> amongst services provided such as audit opinions, legal opinions and
> prostitution?


I can't answer that question.

I personally know a lot of lawyers and accountants. I am an accountant.
I believe I actually know something about both. On the other hand, I
do not personally know any prostitutes - or at least any that claim to be.

Jim Hudspeth



 
Reply With Quote
 
Charles King
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      07-27-2003, 02:44 PM
I would think that familiarity with accountants and lawyers qualifies
one as an excellent judge of the character of prostitutes.
As a friend of mine who is a partner with a final four firm frequently
confesses, "We're all whores". This is not intended in any way to
denigrate that noble profession but instead is a reminder that we all
act in our perceived self-interests. I suspect that the
public/private orientation will continue to evolve. I also suspect
that tax, write-up and other non-attest function clients will feel
betrayed if accountants don't act as advocates.


Boycott list
*********************************

spammers, tightarses, left wing extremists, right wing extremists,
free-market religionists, government that wants to help me and
groupies of all stripes
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What year is a RE transaction reported in? Lagrangian Mechanic Tax 2 04-06-2013 01:08 PM
PwC Public services?? robhagen@gmail.com UK Accountancy 0 07-28-2006 02:03 PM
ACCA public practice question. none@none.com UK Accountancy 11 06-20-2005 01:37 PM
Know threats that lurk your family. Demand online public records of criminal convictions. marthawhite2000@yahoo.co.uk UK Accountancy 0 03-10-2005 02:43 PM
Public Sector Accounting Alan UK Accountancy 0 09-01-2004 09:12 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:07 AM.
Posts in this forum do not constitute the advice of AccountantForums.com or its members. Financial advice should always be taken from qualified advisors before committing to a financial decision.