Questions have been posed frequently from certified public accountants in North Carolina who have been asked by local churches to assist with annual audits or evaluations on church financial records and internal control policies. Since evaluations done according to the procedures in the Local Church Audit Guide are not in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, CPAs have been concerned with participating in the evaluations and what that may mean to their relationship with the state board. We posed the question to the State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners and the response to the request for informal opinion is as provided below. This approach is one of the accepted methods listed in the Book of Discipline for performing these audits and evaluations.
FACT: “CPA is a licensee of the Board. The CPA is a member of a local church and has been asked to be a member of the Audit Committee of the Church.
QUESTION 2: As a member of the Audit Committee the CPA is assigned with other Committee members to perform the annual audit or review for the church?
ANSWER: If the CPA participated as one of the members of the audit/review team in performing the audit or review, did not personally perform the audit or review, did not sign that it was performed by a CPA, did not allow the audit or review to be held out as being performed by a CPA and the audit or review was presented as being performed by the audit/review team and presented to the church from the Finance Committee it would be acceptable for the CPA to participate on the audit/review team. If the CPA personally performed the audit or review according to Generally Accepted Auditing Standards as required, the CPA would need to be in a CPA firm registered with the Board and would be required to go through peer review.”