Please read this if you are required to provide a letter from a Certified Public Accountant.
I am pleased to provide accountant’s letters for various purposes. It may be a verification for litigation support or another type of legal proceeding, a letter for a mortgage lender, a bank loan or an employment issue. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants calls this an “Agreed-Upon Procedure” as part of a “Consulting Service“. (The links are provided for reference to the underlying authority covered in this blog post).
This web page in intended to explain that I must follow the prescribed professional standards in all cases. Specifically, please consider:
- There is no such thing as a ‘simple and quick’ accountant’s letter. It takes time and is expensive.
- I must have a signed engagement agreement from you before issuing my letter.
- All letters must be prepared in accordance with the applicable AICPA Statement of Standards.
- The least amount of work time that this requires is 6 to 8 hours.
- A special temporary work permit may be required from your state. The fee is typically $25. This fee is included in the price I offer.
- I may be required to file an income tax return in your state, if I am not doing so already, as a result of this work.
- All letters are subject to peer review which means that they are subject to inspection and review by another accountant. The fee for this service varies but can be a substantial part of the fee that you pay.
- As a result of all of the above the lowest total fee that I could possibly charge for an accountant’s letter is $1,500.
- The consequences of not following these rules are severe; do not ask me to make exceptions.
- Finally, please don’t even think about asking me to write something that is not true.
See also this short video: https://tonynovak.com/three-nonnegotiable-points-on-cpa-verification-letters/