AICPA Hails SEC’s Adoption of Rule Exempting Accountants from Municipal Advisor Registration

September 27, 2013

Contact: Jay Hyde, 202-434-4266,

Washington, D.C. (September 27, 2013)
– The following is a statement by Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA, president and CEO of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), in reaction to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) adoption of a final rule related to the registration of municipal advisors:

“The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) welcomes the SEC’s adoption of a final rule on registration of municipal advisors that exempts accountants who provide audit and attestation services.

“The establishment of a permanent registration regime for municipal advisors will further the goal of accountability and transparency in the financial system. While the SEC’s definition of ‘municipal advisor’ in the proposed rule would not have required accountants performing audits of financial statements to register, it would have encompassed accountants who perform other audit and attestation services.  

“Accountants providing audit and attestation services are already subject to layers of regulation that are intended to protect investors. We are pleased that the SEC expanded the accountant exemption to include audit and attestation engagements, preparation of financial statements and the issuance of letters for underwriters.

“We commend the SEC for its flexibility on this issue.

“I also want to acknowledge the support of those members of Congress – Representatives Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) and Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), in particular – who recognized the importance of exempting accountants from the municipal advisor definition by introducing legislation to that effect. Their support at a time when the rule’s treatment of accountants was an open question was greatly appreciated."