Two major sets of standards that have typically been applied by professionals in the United States include U.S. GAAP, discussed in Chapter 2, and auditing standards, discussed in this chapter. However, because information technology and third-party requests have had a significant impact on the accounting profession and society in general, the public accounting profession has focused on its willingness and ability to design and offer additional “value-added” services, in addition to such traditional services as tax preparation and auditing. Technological changes have encouraged accounting professionals to transform from “number crunchers and certifiers of information” to “decision support specialists and enhancers of information.”
Many professionals who keep abreast of the major changes in the profession and technology have adapted their practices and market orientation to these new “value-added” assurance services. Some practitioners are also expanding the area of consulting services offered to clients. As a result, the practitioner/researcher must become aware of these new assurance services and the related authoritative standards and restrictions that apply in offering these services.