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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XVI PUBLIC HEALTH
  • CHAPTER 112 REGISTRATION OF CERTAIN PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
  • Section 87D Nonlicensed persons or firms; restrictions; titles; use; misleading names or designations; certificates or licenses granted in foreign countries

Section 87D. (a) No person or firm not holding a valid license issued under section eighty-seven B or eighty-seven B1/2 shall issue a report on financial statements of any other person, firm, organization or governmental unit. This prohibition does not apply to an officer, partner or employee of any firm or organization affixing his signature to any statement or report in reference to the financial affairs of such firm or organization or subsidiary or franchisee of said organization with any wording designating the position, title or office that he holds therein; nor does it apply to any act of a public official or employee in the performance of his duties as such; nor does it apply to the performance by persons other than licensees of other services involving the use of accounting skills, including the preparation of tax returns, and the preparation of financial statements without the issuance of reports thereon; nor shall it apply to an individual qualifying to engage in the practice of certified public accountancy pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (h) of section 87B.

(b) The prohibition contained in paragraph (a) is applicable to issuance, by a person or firm not holding a valid license, of a report using any form of language conventionally used by licensees with respect to a review of financial statements.

(c) The prohibition contained in paragraph (a) is applicable to issuance, by a person or firm not holding a valid license, of a report using any form of language conventionally used by licensees with respect to a compilation of financial statements.

(d) Any person who does not hold a valid certified public accountancy certificate and a valid certified public accountancy license shall not use or assume the title or designation “certified public accountant”, “public accountant” or the abbreviations “CPA” or “PA” or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card or device tending to indicate that such person is a certified public accountant or public accountant.

(e) No firm shall assume or use the title or designation “certified public accountants”, “public accountants” or the abbreviations “CPA” or “PA” or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card or device tending to indicate that such firm is composed of certified public accountants or public accountants, unless: (1) the firm holds a valid license issued under section 87B1/2; and (2) all partners, officers, members and shareholders of the firm hold valid certified public accountancy certificates and licenses.

[There are no paragraphs (f) and (g).]

(h) No person or firm not holding a valid license issued under section eighty-seven B or eighty-seven B1/2 shall assume or use the title or designation “certified accountant”, “chartered accountant”, “enrolled accountant”, “licensed accountant”, “registered accountant”, “accredited accountant”, or any other title or designation likely to be confused with the titles “certified public accountant” or “public accountant”, or use any of the abbreviations “CA”, “EA”, “LA”, “RA”, “AA”, or similar abbreviation likely to be confused with the abbreviations “CPA” or “PA”; provided, however, that a holder of a certificate who does not also hold a license may use the titles pertaining to such certificate in any manner not prohibited by rules promulgated by the board.

(i) No person or firm not holding a valid license issued under section eighty-seven B or eighty-seven B1/2 shall assume or use any title or designation that includes the words “accountant”, “auditor”, or “accounting”, in connection with any other language, including the language of a report, which implies that such person or firm holds such a license or has special competence as an accountant or auditor; provided, however, that this subsection does not prohibit any officer, member, partner or employee of any firm or organization from affixing his signature to any statement or report in reference to the financial affairs of such firm or organization or subsidiary or franchisee of said organization with any wording designating the position, title or office that he holds therein; nor prohibit any act of a public official or employee in the performance of his duties as such.

(j) No person holding a certificate shall engage in the practice of public accountancy unless he also holds a valid license issued under section eighty-seven B.

(k) No person or firm holding a license under section eighty-seven B or eighty-seven B1/2, shall engage in the practice of public accountancy using a professional or firm name or designation which is misleading as to the legal form of the firm, or as to the persons who are partners, members, officers or shareholders of the firm, or as to any other matter; provided, however, that names of one or more former partners, members or shareholders may be included in the name of a firm or its successor.

(l) None of the foregoing provisions of this section shall have any application to a person or firm holding a certificate, designation, decree or license granted in a foreign country entitling the holder thereof to engage in the practice of public accountancy or its equivalent in such country, whose activities within the commonwealth are limited to the provision of professional services to persons or firms who are residents of or government of or business entities of the country in which he holds such entitlement, who issues no reports with respect to the financial statements of any other persons, firms or governmental units within the commonwealth, and who does not use in the commonwealth any title or designation other than the one under which he practices in such country, followed by a translation of such title or designation into the English language, if it is in a different language, and by the name of such country.

Any person or firm who knowingly violates any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be subject to a fine or not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

(m) A person qualified to engage in the practice of certified public accountancy pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (h) of section 87B shall be included, for purposes of this section, within the definition of a person holding a valid license or certificate.