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The American Institute of CPAs named the recipients of the 2022 Effective Learning Strategies Awards to college and university educators, and also honored four other professors for excellence in teaching, literature and advancing the profession.
The winners of the 2022 Bea Sanders/AICPA Teaching Innovation Award for innovative teaching in the first accounting sequence (first- and second-year studies) were Wendy Tietz of Kent State University, Tracie Miller-Nobles of Franklin University and Jennifer Cainas of the University of South Florida. The winner of the 2022 George Krull/Grant Thornton Teaching Innovation Award for innovative teaching in junior- and senior-level accounting courses was Kimberly Young of Greenville Technical College in South Carolina. An honorable mention went to Hagit Levy-Shalev of Baruch College.
The 2022 Mark Chain/FSA Teaching Innovation Award for innovative graduate-level accounting teaching practices went to Perry Moore of Lipscomb University. The winners will share their work at the American Accounting Association annual meeting in San Diego.
“We thank the AAA for granting these educators a platform to present their exciting cases,” said Anna Howard, senior manager of academic initiatives for the AICPA, in a statement. “We appreciate the support from the FSA and Grant Thornton to help encourage innovative ideas in accounting education.”
In addition, winners will receive $5,000 and a commemorative vase (honorable mentions will receive $500). The materials from the submissions will be posted to the Academic Resource Database, alongside past winners.
The AICPA also honored four professors for their excellence in teaching, literature, and advancing the profession. The recipient of the 2022 AICPA Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award was D. Scott Showalter, professor of accounting at North Carolina State University. The winners of the 2022 Notable Contributions to Accounting Literature Award were Eli Bartov of New York University, Lucile Faurel of Arizona State University and Partha S. Mohanram of the University of Toronto.
Affiliations between entities have steadily increased over the years. Due to factors such as mergers and acquisitions, the proliferation of private equity, and the manner in which companies sponsor employee benefit plans, even smaller companies can have numerous related entities or "affiliates." Independence rules apply when a CPA firm (firm) has an attest relationship with an entity (an attest client), but when do those rules apply to an attest client's affiliates? And which independence rules apply? This article seeks to answer these important questions.
"Affiliate" is defined in Definitions in the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct (the Code) (ET §0.400.02) and applies solely to a "financial statement attest client" (FSAC), which is also defined (ET §0.400.16). An FSAC exists when a firm performs any of the following attest services for an entity:
When a firm provides these types of attest services to a client, the client is an FSAC, and the Code requires the firm to identify all of the FSAC's affiliates.
The affiliates described in items a-l of the Affiliate definition (ET §0.400.02) are categorized and summarized below.
Entity is 'downstream' from FSAC
An FSAC controls the entity (item a) or has significant influence over an entity and the entity is material to the FSAC (item b).
Examples and illustrations key: Audit Client (AC); Affiliate (AF); Controlling Entity (CE).
Entity is 'upstream' from FSAC
An entity controls an FSAC or has significant influence over an FSAC and the FSAC is material to the entity (items c and d, respectively).
Entity and FSAC are under common control
An entity controls an FSAC and another entity (sister entities) and each sister entity is material to the controlling entity (item e).
Entity is associated with FSAC employee benefit plan
Employee benefit plan is associated with FSAC
Entity is trustee, investment adviser, or general partner
HOW DO THE INDEPENDENCE RULES APPLY TO AFFILIATES?
Once you've identified the affiliates of an FSAC, the "Affiliates, Including State and Local Government Affiliates" subtopic (ET §1.224) of the "Independence Rule" dictates how the independence rules apply to those entities. If the FSAC is a state or local government entity, the "State and Local Government Client Affiliates" interpretation (ET §1.224.020) applies (but due to space constraints, will not be addressed in this article). The "Client Affiliates" interpretation (ET §1.224.010) applies to all other FSACs and is described next.
The "Client Affiliates" interpretation notes that interests in and relationships with affiliates of an FSAC may create threats to independence. So, the general rule is that the same independence rules that apply to an FSAC apply to the FSAC's affiliates. That said, the rule provides several exceptions, which are summarized below. Most of the exceptions do not apply to FSAC affiliates that are included in the FSAC's consolidated financial statements (that is, they exclude items a and b in the Affiliate definition; the "downstream" affiliates). Exceptions applicable only to items c—l in the Affiliate definition are indicated for each item below:
Nonattest service performed for (item c-l) affiliate of FSAC
A firm may be permitted to provide otherwise prohibited nonattest services to an item c-l affiliate of an FSAC if two conditions are met: (1) it is reasonable to conclude that the services do not create a self-review threat with respect to the FSAC because the results of the nonattest services will not be subject to financial statement attest procedures; and (2) for any other threats that are not at an acceptable level, the firm applies safeguards to eliminate or reduce the threats to an acceptable level (ET §1.224.010.02(b)).
Illustration: Your firm provides temporary CFO services to an affiliate (AF) that is a sister company of your audit client (AC). AF and AC are completely separate companies that are separately managed and share no systems or other resources. Based on these facts, your firm concludes that performing these otherwise prohibited services to AF would not create self-review, management participation, or other threats to independence (either in fact or appearance) when performing the audit of AC.
Subsequent employment of former firm employee in key position at (item c-l) affiliate of FSAC
A firm would not be required to apply the safeguards described in the "Subsequent Employment or Association With an Attest Client" interpretation (ET §1.279.020) if a former employee of the firm takes a key position with an item c-l affiliate of an FSAC that would not be considered a key position with the FSAC.
Illustration: You leave your firm to become the CFO of a sister entity (AF) that is structurally and operationally separate from your firm's audit client (AC). Clearly, the CFO role is a key position (see the sidebar, "Definition of 'Key Position' "). However, due to the separation of AC and AF, your firm concludes that your serving as the CFO of AF will not be considered a key position at AC and, therefore, not impact your firm's independence with respect to AC.
Employment of covered member's family in key position at (item c-l) affiliate of FSAC
A covered member's immediate family or close relative may be employed in a key position at an item c-l affiliate of an FSAC during the period of the professional engagement or period covered by the financial statements if the family member is not in a key position with respect to the FSAC (ET §1.224.010.02(d)).
Illustration: You are the engagement partner for three employee benefits plans (AC1, AC2, and AC3 — the plans). A participating employer in the plans (AF) offers the controller position to your spouse, so the question is whether this position at AF would equate to a key position at the plans. Questions to ask are, "Would your spouse be responsible for preparing the plans' financial statements or for significant accounting functions underlying those statements?" and "Would your spouse be able to exercise influence over the plans' financial statements?" If the answer to either of these questions is "yes," independence would be impaired (that is, the exception cannot be applied).
Lease arrangement with (item c-l) affiliate of FSAC
The firm, an attest engagement team member, or person able to influence the attest engagement may have a lease arrangement with an item c-l affiliate of an FSAC that does not meet the requirements of the "Leases" interpretation (ET §1.260.040) if the firm evaluates threats using the "Conceptual Framework for Independence" interpretation (ET §1.210.010) (Conceptual Framework) and concludes that threats are at an acceptable level.
Illustration: Your firm would like to lease office space from an audit client's (AC's) parent company (AF). The arrangement does not meet the requirements of the "Leases" interpretation because the lease expense would be material to the firm. The firm concludes that threats to its independence are significant (not at an acceptable level) but believes that a second review of the audit by an independent professional unaffiliated with the engagement would sufficiently reduce the threat to an acceptable level. The firm will also have a discussion with AC's and AF's governance bodies to determine whether the lease arrangement raises any concerns regarding the firm's independence and discuss the safeguard (i.e., second review of the audit engagement by an outside professional) the firm proposes to apply.
Staff augmentation arrangement with (item c-l) affiliate of FSAC
A firm may enter into an otherwise impermissible staff augmentation (loaned staff) arrangement with an item c-l affiliate of an FSAC affiliate if the firm evaluates threats using the Conceptual Framework and concludes that threats are at an acceptable level (ET §1.224.010.02(f)).
Illustration: The sole sponsor (AF) of an employee benefit plan audit client (AC) suffers significant data loss from a cyberattack and asks the audit firm to lend staff to assist it in reassembling certain information, including participant records and other plan-related information. The firm evaluates the situation using the Conceptual Framework and concludes that it should not enter into the arrangement because the nature of the work would create significant self-review and management participation threats to independence that safeguards could not reduce to an acceptable level.
Loan to or from certain individuals associated with an affiliate of FSAC
A covered member may have a loan with an individual who is an officer, director, or 10% or more owner of an affiliate of an FSAC during the period of the professional engagement unless the covered member knows (or should know) of the person's association with the affiliate, in which case the firm should evaluate threats to independence using the Conceptual Framework. (See the note below.)
Nonclient or nonattest client acquires FSAC
A firm's interest in or relationship with a nonclient (or nonattest client) that acquires or merges with an FSAC may impair its independence due to the creation of an affiliate relationship with the FSAC. This exception states that independence would not be impaired if: (1) the firm's attest engagement covers only periods prior to the transaction and (2) the firm will cease providing financial statement attest services to the acquirer (affiliate). (The firm should also consider potential conflicts of interest.)
Note: As part of an SEC Rule 2-01 convergence project, the AICPA's Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) recently adopted changes to the "Client Affiliates" (and other) interpretations, which will be effective on Dec. 31, 2022, with early implementation permitted. These changes are not reflected in the preceding paragraph.
IDENTIFYING AND MONITORING AFFILIATES
Identifying affiliates of an FSAC can be challenging, particularly in the private-equity (PE) environment, which impacts more accounting firms than ever before. For example, an FSAC's sister portfolio company may have little interest in sharing nonpublic information with your firm (i.e., whether the sister company is material to the controlling PE fund).
Due to these challenges, the Code requires firms to employ "best efforts" to obtain the information needed to identify client affiliates (ET §1.224.010.03).
If, after expending best efforts, a firm cannot obtain the information to determine which entities are affiliates of an FSAC, the firm should take the following steps to avoid an independence impairment:
Once the firm identifies an FSAC's affiliates, the audit team should monitor the information carefully to avoid independence impairments.
Implementing a variety of policies and procedures — including periodic testing of their effectiveness — to identify and monitor affiliates of FSACs can help ensure firms' ongoing compliance with the independence rules. For example, a firm can:
Definition of 'key position'
A "key position" is a position in which an individual has:
For purposes of attest engagements not involving financial statements, a key position is one in which an individual is primarily responsible for, or able to influence, the subject matter of the attest engagement.
About the author
Cathy Allen, CPA, is the managing member of Audit Conduct LLC (auditconduct.com), which provides customized self-study courses on auditor independence and professional ethics for CPA firms and other organizations. She has been a member of the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) since May 2020. All views expressed in this article are her own and do not represent official positions of either PEEC or the AICPA. To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Courtney Vien at Courtney.Vien@aicpa-cima.com.
Gain an understanding of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and independence rules affecting accounting professionals.
For more information or to make a purchase, go to aicpa.org/cpe-learning or call the Institute at 888-777-7077.
"Ethics Quiz: Affiliates, Confidentiality, and More," JofA, May 1, 2019
The tumultuous and unpredictable environment of recent years has resulted in increased stress for CPA firms and their clients. While uncertainty has been the norm, one constant remains: When people lose money, they often look for someone to blame, and CPAs can get caught in the cross hairs.
This article examines the types of claims asserted against CPA firms in the AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program in 2021 and predicts what future claims may arise.
CLAIMS BY AREA OF PRACTICE
The chart "2021 Claims by Area of Practice," below, reflects the volume of professional liability claims asserted against CPA firms in the AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program in 2021, the majority of which stem from tax services. While tax claims are more frequent, they are typically not severe or costly in terms of defense costs and indemnity payments. Higher-severity tax claims include those involving aggressive tax strategies such as syndicated conservation easements, U.S. filing obligations related to foreign financial assets, estate and gift tax returns, and state and local nexus issues. Areas of practice and allegations that also typically result in high-severity claims include audit services, fiduciary services, and claims asserting the CPA firm failed to detect a theft or fraud, irrespective of the service rendered.
Current claim trends
The leading cause of loss for tax claims asserted in 2021 was a filing error (see the chart "Tax Services Claims Asserted in 2021 by Cause of Loss," below). In prior years, the leading cause of loss was the provision of incorrect advice or failure to advise. However, due to the multiple changes in 2019 and 2020 return filing deadlines, the increase in this claim assertion is not surprising.
Consider this claim asserted in 2021:
A CPA firm was engaged to prepare a client's individual income tax return and returns for its businesses. The partner indicated that all returns would be extended but got busy and failed to timely file the individual extension. The client was assessed a failure-to-pay penalty of $20,000, the IRS denied the penalty abatement request, and the client demanded payment of the penalty and interest.
The timing of claims related to tax services may lag longer than what is customarily anticipated. Why? The IRS continues to work through its massive correspondence backlog, including requests for penalty and interest abatement. Moreover, the flurry of changes to filing dates, legislation enacted immediately preceding and during tax season, and new services requested of tax advisers have increased the potential for error and, consequently, claims against CPA firms.
Additionally, the IRS has been aggressively pursuing abusive tax-avoidance schemes. IRS settlements related to these schemes have been significant and have led to expensive claims against CPA firms.
AUDIT AND ATTEST SERVICES
Current claim trends
Similar to prior years, the primary causes of loss related to audit and attest services claims include a failure to detect a misstatement or disclosure error and a failure to detect a theft or fraud (see the chart "Audit and Attest Services Claims Asserted in 2021 by Cause of Loss," below). What is different from prior years' claim data is which party asserted these claims. In 2021, over half of the audit and attest services claims were instituted by third parties, primarily lenders or sureties.
Consider this claim asserted in 2021:
A CPA firm had a long-term financial institution audit client. The client discovered that one of its employees embezzled funds by misusing the company credit card and manipulating bank records. The client performed an investigation, determined that $2 million was stolen, and submitted a claim to its fidelity insurer. The fidelity insurer brought a claim against the CPA firm, asserting that the firm's audit failures allowed the fraud to perpetuate.
The volume of 2021 audit and attest services claims decreased by nearly 50% compared with 2020. While this may seem like a cause for celebration, such may not be representative of future loss experience. Courts were closed or only partially open in 2020 and 2021. Stimulus funds kept many businesses afloat during tenuous economic times. Therefore, we may see an uptick in claims once courts are operating at full capacity and when the economic dust settles.
Another trend in claims — particularly those related to audit services — has been the increase in damages asserted when a claim is made. Class action lawsuits and "nuclear" verdicts, whereby juries award an exceptionally high figure that is disproportionate to the actual damages, have become commonplace, fueled in part by an increase in litigation funding, whereby a third party funds a lawsuit in exchange for a share of any award.
Current claim trends
Consulting services claims comprised 9% of all claims asserted in 2021. This percentage may sound insignificant. However, compared with 2020, consulting claim volume is up 50%, an unsurprising trend as more firms expand their service offerings beyond the traditional audit and tax.
Consider this claim asserted in 2021:
A CPA firm was engaged to provide bill payment, cash management, tax preparation, and tax planning services to a wealthy couple and the adult children from the wife's first marriage. After the wife died, a separate investment account solely in the husband's name was revealed. The wife's children brought a claim against the firm alleging that the engagement partner helped the husband create and fund the separate account, thus diminishing the amount of the wife's assets inherited by her children.
Claims related to consulting services will likely continue to increase as this area of practice grows and CPAs lean further into the role of trusted business adviser. Why? Claim history has demonstrated that the more services a CPA firm delivers to a client, the more likely that the CPA firm may be blamed for a client's losses and, consequently, face a claim.
Sarah Beckett Ference, CPA, is a risk control director at CNA. For more information about this article, please contact email@example.com.
Continental Casualty Company, one of the CNA insurance companies, is the underwriter of the AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program. Aon Insurance Services, the National Program Administrator for the AICPA Professional Liability Program, is available at 800-221-3023 or visit cpai.com.
This article provides information, rather than advice or opinion. It is accurate to the best of the author's knowledge as of the article date. This article should not be viewed as a substitute for recommendations of a retained professional. Such consultation is recommended in applying this material in any particular factual situations.
Examples are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to establish any standards of care, serve as legal advice, or acknowledge any given factual situation is covered under any CNA insurance policy. The relevant insurance policy provides actual terms, coverages, amounts, conditions, and exclusions for an insured. All products and services may not be available in all states and may be subject to change without notice.
An introduction to financial statement analysis which builds on the fundamentals of accounting, including understanding the accounting equation and its application in building the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flows. Basic accounting concepts, accounting principles, and the audit report are presented. Students work in teams to analyze corporate financial statements. The relationship of economic value to accounting measurement is explored together with factors influencing management choices among competing valuation principles. Theory is applied to the valuation of the asset, liability, and owners' equity accounts. Emphasizes the heavy reliance on estimates in constructing financial statements and how management can use such estimates to strategically manage its reporting responsibilities.
In-depth study of the theoretical and practical problems of accounting for partnerships, business combinations, and nonbusiness organizations, including governmental fiduciaries.
Examines the principles and components governing management information systems with strong emphasis on the importance of internal control within the system. Illustrates the role of the computer in accounting and general information systems and accounting transactions processing, environment of information systems, designing new system controls, flowcharting, management, designing computer-oriented controls, systems analysis, design, implementation, and follow-up principles of systems design and standards of internal control.
Introduces the legal system and the way in which the law interacts with the accountant's function. Provides a basic understanding of the principles of law most commonly related to the practice of accountancy. Stimulates an awareness of the law as an expression of basic social, political, and economic forces. Covers the law in relation to contracts, agencies, and sales of goods.
Completes the academic requirements necessary to sit for the commercial law part of the CPA exam. Covers the law in relation to commercial paper, secured transactions, business organizations, and government regulation.
Prerequisite: Business Law I (22:835:510)
Covers the problems of generating and utilizing cost data for the dual purpose of managerial control and product costing. Cost accounting principles and procedures are studied in relation to the accumulation and reporting of material, labor, and variable and fixed overhead costs. Actual, normal, and standard cost systems are examined in both a job order and process manufacturing setting. Cost control, cost planning, and cost analysis as used in assisting the managerial function are studied.
This course seeks to equip students with foundational knowledge and essential skills enabling them not only to understand cybersecurity risks, controls, and governance, but also to provide assurance on cybersecurity. The first half of this course is structured to form an understanding of cybersecurity risks, controls, and governance and also covers cybersecurity frameworks, standards, and best practices. The second half of the course is designed to cover assurance on cybersecurity. In particular, the course introduces the new AICPA’s cybersecurity risk management reporting framework and presents related criteria that are used to perform an attestation engagement and to report the effectiveness of an entity’s cybersecurity risk management program.
This course examines the basic principles of fund accounting under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). It emphasizes the new government financial reporting model promulgated by GASB No. 34 and modified or clarified by GASB's subsequent pronouncements. The course also provides an introduction to public sector auditing by examining the U.S. General Accounting Office's (GAO's) Government Auditing Standards.
Enables students to recognize and understand the impact of taxation as a major factor for both individual and business planning. Covers sources of federal tax law, the concept of income realization and recognition, timing of income recognition, timing and possibility of income tax deductions, tax accounting methods, and reporting periods.
Designed for both accounting and finance majors, this course combines a study of the theory, rationale, and objectives of corporate financial reporting with an examination of current reporting principles. The aim is to develop a realistic understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of corporate financial reporting, particularly from the viewpoint of the consumer of such financial information. Emphasis is placed on the analysis and understanding of publicly available financial information, rather than on the mechanics of construction of financial statements. Nevertheless, there is still a great deal of mechanics and problem solving in this course.
Discusses many of the problems in financial accounting theory and practice. Instills an appreciation for the challenges and limitations of accounting. Prepares students for advanced study, professional examinations, and successful pursuit of accounting careers. Covers current and long-term liabilities, stockholders' equity, dilutive securities, investments, accounting for income taxes, pension costs and leases, and accounting changes and error analysis. Refers to pronouncements of the Accounting Principles Board and the Financial Accounting Standards Board.
Prerequisite: Intermediate Accounting I (22:835:501)
Mike Costello and Pamela Mantone, both Certified Public Accountants and financial forensics professionals with the Chattanooga office of Joseph Decosimo and Company, PLLC (Decosimo), have recently been awarded the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) Credential by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
The CFF Credential, established in 2008 by the AICPA, is granted to qualified CPAs with considerable professional experience in financial forensics.
Mr. Costello and Ms. Mantone each met the requirements to earn the CFF credential, which include demonstrating significant business experience in the area of financial forensics, as well as completing a minimum of 75 hours of life-long learning and education activities in the area of financial forensics. The CFF Credential is granted exclusively to CPAs who are members in good standing of the AICPA, which binds them to the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.
CPAs who have earned the CFF Credential must be recertified every three years to maintain their credential.
Mike Costello, a principal with Decosimo Advisory Services, is a CPA, certified fraud examiner, business appraiser and consultant with more than 25 years of training and experience in business valuations, business acquisitions and divestitures, as well as related fields. His experience includes extensive consulting work and testimony in tax, accounting, financial, economic, and business issues of commercial litigation, with emphasis on business valuation, economic damage and forensic accounting issues.
Before merging with Decosimo in 2003, Mr. Costello was the Managing Director of a Chattanooga accounting firm for approximately 20 years.
Pamela Mantone is a manager with Decosimo practicing in the areas of audit and attestation with emphasis on forensic accounting, fraud examinations, financial institutions, non-profit organizations and governments.
Also a certified fraud examiner, Ms. Mantone has performed forensic and fraud auditing services for numerous organizations, including the gathering of forensic evidence and testifying to findings. She also provides consultation services regarding implementation of fraud prevention and fraud detection internal control systems.
While the events of the last few years pushed many CPA firms out of their comfort zones, the 2022 Managing Partner Elite had marched their practices out to the leading edge of the profession many years prior. Case in point: Many of this year’s class of exceptional firm leaders implemented remote working environments long before the pandemic closed down offices, giving their people a headstart on operating in this new normal — and as an added benefit, it helps their firms attract more flexibility-focused talent, from outside their regions, as the Great Resignation continues to thin candidate ranks.
All of the 2022 MP Elite have not only been successful in courting new professionals, but in retaining them as well, as these leaders never stop adding or improving people-first policies and programs that center what they recognize as their firms’ most valuable resource.
And this year’s honorees have had time to strategize and develop these initiatives, because to be eligible for the MP Elite, candidates must have been in their leadership role for a minimum of four years.
Another theme of the 2022 class is a proactive pivot into more advisory services. While some of the younger or smaller practices on our list were advisory-focused from inception, legacy practices have impressively embraced this client need for more holistic business management services.
Additionally, the MP Elite are leading their practices — and the profession — into emerging new markets like cannabis, environmental, social and governance services, and cryptocurrency, to name a few.
Grassi CEO and MP Louis Grassi, who returns to our list after last being honored in 2014 (candidates are eligible for repeat consideration after three years) summed up the gusto with which he and his fellow honorees approach conquering these new frontiers.
“I swim against the tide,” he said. “When other managing partners react to crises and uncertainty with caution or fear, I am typically the one taking a big step of faith and implementing innovative new ways to continue our firm’s growth.”
And growth is not a nebulous concept for the MP Elite. Most of these outstanding leaders set very precise goals for their practices, down to the year and revenue dollar amount — and all of them are, as you’d imagine, ambitious.
The MP Elite’s standards for themselves are just as high.
As Centri Business Consulting’s Michael Aiello put it, “As a leader, my growth never stops. Whether it is learning more about how to lead or expanding my industry knowledge of our business or our clients’ business, I remain focused on being the best version of myself for the company and for our clients.”
That constant pace of change drives all of this year’s leaders — long before the pandemic, markets or other factors forced their lagging peers to catch up.
The MP Elite understand disruption and evolution is a key factor of their success.
“I am not afraid to shake things up or change the mold,” said Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz’s Ken Wolfe. “Sometimes, we just have to try something different, and it might work or it might not. But we will never progress forward if we don’t have change.”
Embodying that progressive mindset, we are proud to present the 2022 MP Elite, who continue to lead the charge ahead.
Latest certifications provide transparency into the company’s security, privacy and compliance posture
AUSTIN, Texas, July 26, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BigCommerce (Nasdaq: BIGC), a leading Open SaaS ecommerce platform for fast-growing and established B2C and B2B brands, today announced it has successfully completed SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 compliance audits and obtained corresponding attestation reports ("certifications"), exemplifying the company’s commitment to protecting its customers’ sensitive and valuable information.
Completing these certifications affirms BigCommerce’s data and information security practices, policies and procedures for handling financial and other data are officially approved to meet the SOC trust principles criteria for security, availability and confidentiality as defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The company’s security procedures have been formally reviewed by a verified, independent third party and underscore BigCommerce’s ongoing data-security commitment to its customers.
"At BigCommerce, the security, availability and confidentiality of our merchants’ data is of the utmost importance," said Brian Dhatt, chief technology officer at BigCommerce. "With our SOC certifications, BigCommerce has set a high standard for what it means to be entrusted with protecting our customers’ information. We are committed to transparency into how we protect our customers’ information."
With these certifications, BigCommerce merchants, particularly its large enterprise customers, can be more confident than ever that the company has controls and processes in place to protect their data and help them meet their own regulatory requirements. SOC 1 and SOC 2 certifications also aid merchants’ ability to meet SOX requirements, and SOC 2 enables them to meet third-party risk requirements associated with their choice of ecommerce platform.
BigCommerce is committed to regularly undergo independent, qualified, third-party audits to verify the company’s information protection policies and practices meet the expectations of its most discerning customers.
BigCommerce SOC reports are available at https://security.bigcommerce.com for consumption by visitors who have an NDA on file with the company.
BigCommerce (Nasdaq: BIGC) is a leading open software-as-a-service (SaaS) ecommerce platform that empowers merchants of all sizes to build, innovate and grow their businesses online. BigCommerce provides merchants sophisticated enterprise-grade functionality, customization and performance with simplicity and ease-of-use. Tens of thousands of B2C and B2B companies across 150 countries and numerous industries use BigCommerce to create beautiful, engaging online stores, including Ben & Jerry’s, Molton Brown, S.C. Johnson, Skullcandy, SoloStove and Vodafone. Headquartered in Austin, BigCommerce has offices in London, Kyiv, San Francisco, and Sydney. For more information, please visit www.bigcommerce.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
BigCommerce® is a registered trademark of BigCommerce Pty. Ltd. Third-party trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220726005317/en/
Demonstrating Engiven's Commitment to Strong Internal Controls and Client Data Security
SAN DIEGO, July 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Engiven Inc. announced today that it has achieved SOC 2 Type 1 compliance in accordance with American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) standards for SOC for Service Organizations also known as SSAE 18. Achieving this standard with an unqualified opinion serves as third-party industry validation that Engiven Inc. provides enterprise-level security for customer's data secured in the Engiven Inc. System.
Engiven Inc. provides SaaS-based technologies that equip nonprofit organizations to securely accept and liquidate cryptocurrency donations while eliminating the complexity and risk associated with cryptocurrency transactions. Engiven provides a highly automated end-to-end solution where the crypto donation is Tested on the blockchain, exchanged for USD and the donor is immediately provided with a gift receipt.
"The certification is truly just a formalization of the industry-best practices we employ to safeguard our data and that of our clients," explained Brandon Murphy, COO of Engiven. "Ethics and compliance are not boxes we check - they are integral to who we are. We are firmly committed to the highest level of integrity in all of our business practices."
Engiven Inc. was audited by Prescient Assurance, a leader in security and compliance attestation for B2B, SAAS companies worldwide. Prescient Assurance is a registered public accounting firm in the US and Canada and provides risk management and assurance services which includes but is not limited to SOC 2, PCI, ISO, NIST, GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, and CSA STAR.
An unqualified opinion on a SOC 2 Type 1 audit report demonstrates to Engiven's current and future clients that they manage their data with the highest standard of security and compliance. Additionally, Engiven is committed to obtaining its SOC 2 Type 2, a higher level of SOC 2 assurance, to further test the effectiveness of its internal controls.
"Engiven is the world's first cryptocurrency donation management platform to achieve this level of security compliance. The SOC 2 Type 1 Report further demonstrates our commitment to safeguarding transactions and client data," said James Lawrence, Engiven's Cofounder and CEO. "By obtaining this level of compliance, we hope to show our commitment to the highest level of security standards that every nonprofit deserves."
Founded in 2018, Engiven is a leading provider of cryptocurrency donation services to nonprofits and faith-based organizations. The Engiven platform provides a highly automated crypto giving solution that includes block chain monitoring, automatic exchanges, gift receipts, bank deposits, IRS tax form creation, custody options, and a full suite of developer APIs for enterprise. For more information on how to accept crypto donations for your church, ministry or nonprofit organization, visit: https://engiven.com
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SOURCE Engiven, Inc.
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