We continue our series on Xero World and the “Cloud Account Crew” with a peek into the Scope of Practice for “Accountants” [Xero uses the word “Accountants” unless specifically noted, our frame of reference is “Professional Accountants” which in US refers specifically to Certified Public Accountants or “CPA’s]
[ Just to stir the pot a touch we note that understanding of the term Professional Accountants in Australia refers to those with designations FCA and ACA issued by ICAANZ and NOT those with credentials from CPA Australia “CPAA” since the AICPA and implicitly the US regulatory authorities don’t recognize the CPAA credential for reciprocal licensing. In the UK, FCA and ACA from ICAEW are recognized as the designation for “Professional Accountants” while ACCA issued by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is NOT recognized by AICPA] I am confident that I explained that properly without offering any judgment on the merit either system.
In any case, back to the Xero world….where we are going to focus on the “Find an Accountant, Bookkeeper or Cloud Integrator. Let’s begin by focusing on the services one can seek for an “Accountant” or a “Bookkeeper”. A bit of review highlights the following:
In a STUNNING revelation we learn:
- Xero has determined that the Accountants in the UK can offer VAT as a service which makes sense, and Insolvency Services can be offered int US…[psst Xero there is no such thing as Insolvency Services under the commonly used definition in either the UK or Australia in the US.
- Xero has determined that Accountants in Australia are more than twice as capable as Accountants in the either the US or the UK because they list twice as many types of services ….
- oops we let off some of make that 2.5X as capable and lets add the column on the left.
- As we continue our tour, we discover that in “Xero World”, there is no distinction between the services that can be offered by an Professional Accountant [repeating that’s CPA in our world” despite the fact that every single state and the US Federal Government say otherwise. Xero NEEDS TO REMIND ITSELF THAT WHILE THEY MAY BE ABLE TO CHANGE LAWS AND PRACTICE in New Zealand by fiat [which they very well may have in New Zealand it DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY IN THE US. However here is the Xero list of services for Accountants and Bookkeepers in the [even a blind person will notice that they are identical.
- If it weren’t unfortunate enough that Xero World doesn’t distinguish between Professional Accountants and Bookkeepers in the United States, they seem to be oblivious to the fact that we have Professional Standards and state laws that PRECLUDE NON-PROFESSIONALS such as bookkeepers, “generic accountants and “Enrolled Agents” from being associated with financial statements by law. See AICPA SSARS-21
- As an illustration, the California Accountancy Statute Section 5052 which is rather clear on divdiding line between Professional Services to be provided by CPA’s and and what is permissible for “everyone else”
- Text of CA Accountancy Act Sec. 5052
- We note that this is VERY different from the tasks identified in Sec. 5051 [which are expressly reserved for CPA’s
- Let’s focus for a moment on the first sentence of Sec. 5051
Except as provided in Sections 5052 and 5053, a person shall be deemed to be engaged in the practice of public accountancy within the meaning and intent of this chapter if he or she does ANY of the following:
- we are then provided with an enumerate list of acts reproduced above.
- the exception referenced in Sec. 5053 covers persons supervised by a CPA, and attorneys.
- finally, Sec. 5054 covers California non-resident Professional Accountants.
- Thus it appears that it’s permissible to ignore California state law in Xero World, as the “Find An Accountant or Bookkeeper seems to facilitate the location of an individual [Bookkeeper] to provide services where are prohibited under state law.
There is a very logical point of contact within Xero to ask for an “official response” to help us understand how such thing work in Xero World. However, we have been asked not to contact said individual as we are told [granted this is third or perhaps 4th person information] the said person [hereafter the “Xero Grand Poobah of Accounting and Training“] becomes rabid and begins to foam at the mouth, suffer convulsions and “hissy fits” if we reference said person. As such, we extend an invitation for a member of the “Cloud Accounting Crew” whom are omniscient in these matters to offer a comment: so we invite @, ,@, @ and @ individually or collectively to provide that “in lieu of an official response from the “Xero Grand Poobah of Accounting and Training“
Our next installment is going to focus on scope of services for Cloud Integrators in Xero World.