Last week Amy Yurish, CPA, CFF, CFE, participated in a panel discussion held by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) related the Statement on Standards for Forensic Services No. 1 (SSFS No. 1). The panelists included Annette Stalker of Stalker Forensics, Lynda Schwartz of Lynda Schwartz LLC, and Amy Yurish, and the discussion was moderated by Elizabeth Woodward of Dean Dorton. All of the panelists were involved in aspects of the development and review of SSFS No. 1.
SSFS No. 1 are the first standards developed specifically for forensic services and provide authoritative guidance for members providing services as part of either a litigation or investigation related engagement, which are defined under the standard. SSFS No. 1 is applicable for engagements accepted on or after January 1, 2020.
During the panel, Amy and the other panelists discussed applicability of the standard, key elements, and questions related to the implementation of SSFS No. 1. While the standard recapitulates much of current guidance (such as the general standards), there are several important clarifications.
While there appears to be general knowledge of the existence of the standard among forensic accounting practitioners, there are still lingering questions amongst practitioners regarding applicability to certain engagements, implementation of the standard in practice, and the general prohibitions under the standard (such as certain restrictions related to contingency fees, expressing fraud opinions, and performing Agreed Upon Procedures as part of an expert opinion).
The AICPA has published Frequently Asked Questions to provide further information as to some of the more common questions that have arisen regarding SSFS No. 1. These will likely be updated going forward to address more prevalent questions that arise among the profession so practitioners should continue to check the AICPA website periodically for further information.
Link to the Standard – https://future.aicpa.org/resources/download/statement-on-standards-for-forensic-services