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The David Volin litigation in Massachusetts.



The name of Bonnie bon·ny also bon·nie  
adj. bon·ni·er, bon·ni·est Scots
1. Physically attractive or appealing; pretty.

2. Excellent.
 Moore is legendary among unlicensed NSPA NSPA National Scholastic Press Association
NSPA National Strength Professionals Association (Mount Airy, MD)
NSPA National Society of Public Accountants
NSPA Nebraska School Psychologists Association
NSPA National Standard Parts Association
 members. For the benefit of members who joined NSPA since July, 1992, Bonnie Moore is the NSPA member and unlicensed California accountant who was threatened with a contempt action and arrest by the California State Board of Accountancy, not because she called herself an accountant, but because she incorporated and operated a business called "the Accounting Center." Moore has several college degrees (her baccalaureate is a major in accounting) and she met educational eligibility requirements to take the CPA (Computer Press Association, Landing, NJ) An earlier membership organization founded in 1983 that promoted excellence in computer journalism. Its annual awards honored outstanding examples in print, broadcast and electronic media. The CPA disbanded in 2000.  examination in California.

Bonnie Moore sued the California State Board of Accountancy for declaratory relief declaratory relief n. a judge's determination (called a "declaratory judgment") of the parties' rights under a contract or a statute often requested (prayed) for information in a lawsuit over a contract.  and a permanent injunction permanent injunction n. a final order of a court that a person or entity refrain from certain activities permanently or take certain actions (usually to correct a nuisance) until completed.  against the Board's harassment Ask a Lawyer

Question
Country: United States of America
State: Nevada

I recently moved to nev.from abut have been going back to ca. every 2 to 3 weeks for med.
 and threats of penalties. Subsequently, NSPA's California affiliate, the California Association of Independent Accountants (CAIA CAIA Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst
CAIA Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance
CAIA Conference on Artificial Intelligence for Applications
CAIA China Automotive Industry Association
), joined the litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.

When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation.
 as party plaintiffs. After six years of litigation and the filing of numerous memoranda and briefs, the Supreme Court of California The Supreme Court of California is the state supreme court in California. It is headquartered in San Francisco, and regularly holds sessions at its branch offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento. Its decisions are binding on all other California state courts.  vindicated Bonnie Moore and CAIA, in a sharply divided 4-3 opinion, by holding that California unlicensed accountants could practice their profession and use the (up-to-now forbidden) "A" word, provided that a caveat or disclaimer is also used. Thus, the Moore case enlarged the area of permissibility of the use of the "A" word by unlicensed accountants, where state law or regulation had imposed an absolute prohibition.

As Bonnie Moore's name fades into legal history, a new individual emerges to keep up the visibility of the unlicensed accountant's struggle against unjust restrictions, prohibitions and violation of First Amendment rights. In the future we shall hear a great deal about the David Volin case. Who is David Volin and what is the David Volin case about?

David R. Volin is an unlicensed accountant and sole practitioner from Pittsfield, Massachusetts "Pittsfield" redirects here. For other places named Pittsfield, see Pittsfield (disambiguation).

Pittsfield is the largest city and county seat of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States.
. He was informed by the Massachusetts Board of Accountancy that he was in violation of the accountancy law and the Board's regulations by offering to perform accounting services using the title "accountant" (the use of the "A" word). Also, he was alleged to have violated the accounting law because he provided a transmittal to a client describing the accounting services he performed.

In efforts to reach a settlement of the allegations, the Board informed Volin that according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 its interpretation of the Massachusetts accountancy law, no person not licensed as a CPA or a PA may use the terms "accountant," "auditor" or "accounting." The Board did not recognize a generic use of those terms. According to the Board, any use of those terms implies that the person is licensed. Hence, the Board's position was that unlicensed persons are prohibited from (1) using the designation "accountant," (2) offering to provide "accounting" services or (3) listing membership in a society or organization that would lead the public to believe that such person is a licensed accountant.

Moreover, the Board informed Volin that it has consistently ruled that unlicensed individuals are prohibited from providing a cover letter or transmittal regarding the preparation of financial statements. Unlicensed individuals may prepare financial statements only on the client's stationery with the term "FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY" clearly stamped on each page and absent any cover or transmittal letter Transmittal letter

A letter describing the contents and purpose of a transaction delivered with a security that is changing ownership.
.

The Board requested that Volin enter into a Consent Agreement that would prohibit him from engaging in practices that the Board said were prohibited. If Volin executed the Consent Agreement, the Board would not initiate criminal prosecution against him for violation of the accountancy law. Volin declined to execute the Consent Agreement and filed a complaint for declaratory relief and summary judgment. Subsequently, he was joined by the Massachusetts Society of Independent Accountants (MSIA MSIA Malaysia
MSIA Master of Science in Information Assurance
MSIA Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness
MSIA Mapping Sciences Institute Australia (formerly Australian Institute of Cartographers)
MSIA Missouri Self-Insurers Association
), whose membership consists largely of unlicensed accountants.

In his complaint for declaratory relief, Volin stated that he is engaged in providing certain business and accounting services to his clients in the Pittsfield area. His services consists of tax return preparation, unaudited financial statement preparation, bookkeeping bookkeeping, maintenance of systematic and convenient records of money transactions in order to show the condition of a business enterprise. The essential purpose of bookkeeping is to reveal the amounts and sources of the losses and profits for any given period.  services and other services requiring accounting skills. Volin advertised himself and his business as providing "accounting and financial services The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page.
 to individuals and business" and included the fact of his NSPA membership.

The Massachusetts accountancy law is based on the joint AICPA/NASBA Model Accountancy Bill of 1984 (now the AICPA/NASBA Uniform Accountancy Act, the 1992 UAA UAA

ochre codon, one of the three stop codons.
). In fact, Massachusetts and Connecticut have adopted more sections of the UAA word for word than any other state. Many sections of the 1984 model and the 1992 UAA are identical. Thus, the Court's decision is a construction of the applicable provisions of the UAA.

While the drafters of the UAA declare that the Act does not specifically prohibit the use of the title "accountant" by unlicensed persons, it is the interpretation of the Massachusetts Board (as well as many other state accountancy boards) that the UAA prohibits the use of the "A" word. State boards state boards Examinations administered by a US state board of medical examiners to license a physician in a particular state; these examinations play an ever-decreasing role in state medical licensure, as these bodies now rely on standardized national examinations  take the position that any use of the "A" word by an unlicensed individual is inherently confusing to the public and tends to indicate that the person or firm is licensed.

The Court held that under the applicable section of the UAA, the unmodified Adj. 1. unmodified - not changed in form or character
unqualified - not limited or restricted; "an unqualified denial"

modified - changed in form or character; "their modified stand made the issue more acceptable"; "the performance of the modified aircraft
 use of the "A" word is not prohibited. Thus, the Court refused to uphold the Board's position that any use of the title "accountant" or "auditor" or the term "accounting" by an unlicensed individual is inherently confusing to the public and tends to indicate that the individual is licensed. However, the unlicensed accountant's use of the "A" word must be without modifiers. The Court implied that any embellishment of the "A" word title might imply licensure or special competence, a term used in the Uniform Accountancy Act section that was construed by the Court.

With regard to Volin's listing his affiliation with national accounting and tax professionals on his letterhead together with the occupational title "accountant" or the notation that he performs "accounting services," such listing would appear to be prohibited unless he also included a statement of limitation as to his ability to perform accounting services. While it is not absolutely clear, the Court seems to suggest that if Volin used a caveat or disclaimer, he could list his affiliation with national accounting professional associations and still use the unadorned or unmodified "A" word.

The Court further held that the Massachusetts accountancy law does not prohibit unlicensed accountants from preparing financial statements for clients. What the law does prohibit is the issuance of reports (as reports are defined in the law) and the use of the "A" word in connection with the language of a report, which implies licensure or special competence as an accountant. Unlicensed accountants may not use any form of language conventionally used by licensees with respect to a compilation or a review of financial statements in their transmittal of financial statements to clients.

The Volin decision is significant because it represents the first occasion than any trial court has interpreted applicable sections of the UAA. It is also recognized that many state accountancy boards have adopted, by regulation, various sections of the UAA (and its predecessor model), especially those sections relating to relating to relate prepconcernant

relating to relate prepbezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc 
 definitions and prohibited actions. The Volin decision is a clear message to those boards that they are limited in how far they may go to restrict and prohibit the activities of unlicensed accountants under the UAA. The courts will not sustain a board's interpretation if it is too restrictive.

So far as unlicensed accountants in Massachusetts are concerned, the Volin decision is clear recognition that they have a scope of practice available to them under the accounting law and that unlicensed individuals may use the unembellished title "accountant" under the UAA. This is far more professional recognition for unlicensed accountants than they possessed in pre- Volin decision times.

NSPA's Board of Governors and its State Regulation and Oversight Committee provided Volin with technical and financial assistance both prior to and during the litigation.

Will the trial court's decision in Volin be appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts? At the time this column is being prepared, it is too early to say. Under applicable Massachusetts procedures, either party has 30 days from August 12, 1994 (the date of the memorandum decision A court's decision that gives the ruling (what it decides and orders done), but no opinion (reasons for the decision).

A memorandum decision is not subject to appeal by the dissatisfied party.
) in which to note an appeal. There is little need to speculate. By the time this column appears in the NPA (1) (Numbering Plan Area) The Bellcore/Telcordia telephone area code system in use in the U.S., Canada, Alaska, Hawaii and islands in the Caribbean. See NPA code.

(2) (Network Professional Association, San Diego, CA, www.npanet.
, we will know the answer. We do know that in the Superior Court proceedings, the Massachusetts Society of CPAs filed a brief in support of the Board of Accountancy, which apparently made no impression on the Court.

Affiliated state organizations, through their presidents or Legislative Committee chairpersons, may request a copy of the Volin decision by writing to NSPA's Legal Counsel.
COPYRIGHT 1994 National Society of Public Accountants
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:unlicensed accounting practice
Author:Sager, William H.
Publication:The National Public Accountant
Date:Nov 1, 1994
Words:1427
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