CPAs receive third-party verification requests from the likes of clients, lenders, loan brokers, health insurance providers, regulators, and various other agencies to confirm client information. Whether or not to provide third-party verification letters is up to the individual CPA--or firm--however the AICPA’s Third-Party Verification Toolkit can help you make appropriate decisions and inform clients of the responses you can supply and/or the related services you are able to perform on their behalf.
The following toolkit resources are available for your use, including:
- Response matrix - To help you respond to requests, the AICPA has developed a response matrix grid outlining the common requests CPAs receive and related responses that may be appropriate, depending on whether or not the CPA has performed additional procedures to corroborate the information.
- CPA-facing article - Do you and your staff understand all you need to about third-party verifications, the prohibition related to providing requests for solvency and the limitations surrounding sharing confidential client tax information? Share this article with your staff to inform them of the information and services they can provide as well as the information they specifically cannot.
- Client-facing article - To help your clients better understand the CPA role in providing third-party verifications, the AICPA has developed the article “Need Third-Party Verification? Ask a CPA for Guidance". Use this article in client-facing newsletters, a promotional email or on your firm’s website.
- AICPA’s position paper on third-party verifications - Some lenders make requests for the CPA to provide information regarding their clients that the CPA cannot provide (e.g. solvency request). The AICPA has issued a position paper on third party verifications. This paper outlines the requests to which CPAs can respond and can help CPAs explain to requesters why a request for information might be declined.
- Banker/lender presentation - As you meet local bankers/lenders in your community, you may want to inform them of the types of third-party requests your practice is able to supply. This presentation can be added to one of your firm’s existing banker/lender-facing presentations, or you could set up an information session with bankers/lenders to help them understand CPA third-party verification solutions more thoroughly.
- Third-party verification request questions and answers - The AICPA developed these Q&As to help answer frequently asked questions regarding third party verification inquiries.