The Responsibilities and Functions of Independent Certified Public Accountants
by WILLIAM B. TITTSWORTH Partner, Baltimore Office
Presented before the Chesapeake Chapter of Robert Morris Associates, Baltimore—January 1961
I HARDLY need tell you that I was more than pleased to receive an invitation to appear on your program this afternoon, and especially
so since, to my way of thinking, bankers, next to clients, are in all likelihood the most important group of people who utilize the services rendered by independent public accountants. It is natural, I suspect, that relations with bankers should rank high on the agenda of the accounting profession, because for a period of nearly forty years now the Robert Morris Associates and the national and state accounting societies have been working together on problems of common
interest. I believe, too, that bankers are generally more interested in the activities and standards of CPAs than most practicing accountants
realize. A recent survey conducted by the American Institute of CPAs indicated that 73 per cent of bank loan officers who responded to questionnaires on the subject, regularly request an independent audit before granting a loan. Many of the bankers, however, would like more information than they are getting, and would like more frequent personal contact with CPAs.
The moral of all this, it seems to me, is that individually and through their professional societies, CPAs should never permit themselves
to become so busy with other matters that they neglect relations
with bankers—who might be described as the CPA's best friend, if sometimes his severest critic.
Our topic for this afternoon, as Mr. Judges has mentioned to you, is The Responsibilities and Functions of Independent Certified Public Accountants. With the hope that our other panel member and I can discuss this subject without too much overlapping of text, it has been decided that I will direct my talk primarily toward the issue of Responsibilities, and my contemporary, Mr. Sherman, will channel his discussion more in the direction of Functions.
When we speak about Responsibilities of the practicing CPA, we should break them down into two areas:
• Responsibilities to whom?
• Responsibilities for what?