Levy & Powers, Inc. is a CPA Firm devoted to providing audit, review, compilation, agreed-upon procedures and other attestation services to small and medium sized clients in the non-profit and for-profit fields. Levy & Powers, Inc. does not engage in any service areas with its audit, review and attest clients that could be interpreted to impact the independence of Levy & Powers, Inc., in fact or appearance. The Firm is located in San Rafael, California and has clients throughout Northern California. It was founded in 2003 upon its acquisition of the audit and review practice of Henry C. Levy & Co., a CPA firm that provides tax compliance and consulting services and other consulting services, but no longer provides audit or review services.
Seriously taken by Levy & Powers, Inc. is our duty to the readers and users of the financial statements we audit. An auditor's duty has always been to the reader and user of the audited financial statements. This core value of the auditing profession is in contrast to a core value of the attorney-client relationship where the attorney's duty is to the client. In the wake of Enron, this core value of the auditor is becoming more widely known and understood.
L&P, Inc. is a responsive CPA firm of a size that provides the opportunity for clients to take advantage of one-on-one business relationships with Firm ownership. In fact, Levy & Powers, Inc. prides itself with its ability to maintain close business relationships on the highest levels so that issues that arise in the normal course of a client's activities can be dealt with and resolved in a timely manner. Through its association with Henry C. Levy & Co., L&P, Inc. has access to additional professional staff to assist in the completion of its professional services.
Current Audit Operating Environment
The environment in which CPA firms operate today is very dynamic and fluid. In the wake of Enron and 9/11, a combination of significant new requirements from the profession's standards setting authorities and never before seen legislative action on the federal and state levels have resulted in a fast-changing operating environment. More changes are coming. This environment now demands even more focus and attention from Practitioners on their specific practice areas. The days when CPAs could be generalists and provide all manner of professional services are behind us.
Examples of the new operating environment for CPAs included Statement on Auditing Standards 99, which has significantly increased the auditor's responsibility for detection of fraud. SAS 99 requires, "the auditor to conduct the audit engagement with a mindset that recognizes the possibility that a material misstatement due to fraud could be present, regardless of any past experiences with the entity and regardless of the auditor's belief about management's honesty and integrity."
On the Federal level, the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), while not directed at non-profit organizations or privately-owned for-profit entities, is expected to have an impact on audits at all levels. There are increasing indications of eventual "trickle down" of some of SOX's requirements.
On the State level, California's passage of the Nonprofit Integrity Act of 2004, increases, among other additional areas, boards of directors' responsibilities in their relationship with the auditors of their organizations. The California Legislature has also passed laws specifically directed at auditors. One of the laws passed increases the auditor's responsibility for obtaining documentation adequate to support the auditor's work above the audit profession's requirements for documentation. This law's passage has resulted in the audit profession's standard setting authority to soon release an auditing standard that will require auditors in the United States to meet the documentation level set by the California Legislature.
Tax laws continue to change rapidly and become more complex. Increasing numbers of small CPA firm tax practitioners, who previously provided audit and other attest services, are now, because of the increasingly complex environment in which auditors must operate, deciding not to provide audit services. This puts them at risk of losing their tax clients, who need audits, to larger CPA firms. This threatens longstanding tax compliance and consulting professional relationships. Levy & Powers, Inc. provides a vehicle through which clients do not have to abandon their long standing professional relationships with tax services providers. Through the formation of strategic alliances with these other non-audit CPA firms, with practices devoted to tax compliance and consulting and other non-attest areas of practice, existing business relationships remain intact while the audit and review requirements of those clients are met by Levy & Powers, Inc.
In this post-Enron environment, Levy &Powers, Inc. provides audit and review clients with a CPA firm primarily dedicated to performing audit, review, compilation and other attestation services.
Description of Services
Here follows definitions of services provided by Levy & Powers, Inc.
Audit: "The objective of an ordinary audit of financial statements by an independent auditor is the expression of an opinion on the fairness with which they present, in all material respects, financial position, results of operations and cash flows in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles."
Review: "A review is a level of service higher than a compilation because it results in an expression of "limited assurance". The limited assurance is contained in a report by the accountant stating that he or she is not aware of any material modifications that should be made to the financial statements in order for them to be inconformity with GAAP. The accountant must perform sufficient inquiry and analytical procedures to give a reasonable basis for that conclusion. These inquiries and analytical procedures are the major differences between a review and a compilation."
"A review is a level of service lower than an audit of financial statements. A review does not provide a basis for expressing an opinion under GAAS, because it does not require many of the significant procedures required in an audit."
"A review engagement may involve reporting on all the basic financial statements or only on one financial statement, such as a balance sheet or income statement. A review may not include reporting on financial statements that omit substantially all disclosures required by GAAP, unless such omissions are completely disclosed in the accountant's report. This obviously is not a practical alternative."
Compilation: "A compilation of financial statements is an accounting service in which an accountant prepares, or assists in preparing, financial statements without expressing any assurance that the statements are accurate and complete or are in conformity with GAAP. A compilation engagement may involve compiling and reporting on one financial statement, such as the balance sheet or a statement of income, and not on the other related financial statements, if those statements are not presented. As with audited financial statements, this limited reporting objective is not considered a scope limitation. It also may involve financial statements that omit the statement of cash flows and substantially all disclosures required by GAAP."
Agreed-Upon Procedures: "A form of Attest Engagement where a practitioner is engaged by a client to issue a report of findings based on specific procedures performed on the subject matter." In an engagement performed under the Agreed-Upon Procedures section (of AICPA Professional Standards), the practitioner does not perform an examination or a review and does not provide an opinion or negative assurance. Instead, the practitioner's report on agreed-upon procedures should be in the form of procedures and findings."
Attest Engagement: "An Attest Engagement is one in which a practitioner is engaged to issue or does issue an examination, review or an agreed-upon procedures report on subject matter, or an assertion about the subject matter (the assertion). Performing attest services involves gathering evidence to support the subject matter or the assertion and objectively assessing the measurements and communications of the responsible party. Thus, attest services are analytical, critical, and investigative and are concerned with the basis and support for the subject matter or the assertion."
& Powers, Inc.
Certified Public Accountants