CPA practitioners providing “forensic services,” including experts opining on economic damages or conducting forensic investigations, are professionally governed by the statement on standards for forensic services (SSFS) No. 1. These professional standards are promulgated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Every CPA practitioner should be familiar with the general standards rule within the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. It applies to AICPA members rendering any professional service to clients (including tax return preparation, financial statement audit, litigation services, etc.). SSFS No. 1 contains the exact general standards rule found in the broader set of professional standards, reiterating its importance when rendering forensic services. In the context of the CPA profession, forensic services generally includes engagements with a client in connection with litigation (actual or potential, including alternative dispute resolution) or an investigation (in response to specific concerns of wrongdoing).