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The case of Skye’s elite answer

Ethics

Charles Selcer, CPA, MBA | February/March 2020 Footnote

Editor's note: Updated January 31, 2020

Skye Umah, CPA uses a third-party general ledger software, Row the Boat Systems, to perform bookkeeping services for Elite Fleet Services, a client. The software is solely located on Skye’s server.

Q.   Does this arrangement impair Skye’s independence?

A.    Yes. Skye is providing hosting services because she is accepting responsibility to be the sole host of the attest client’s financial information system. As such, she has assumed responsibility for the Elite Fleet’s internal control over financial reporting (that is, safeguarding and maintaining the client’s data and records), which is a management responsibility that impairs independence (see 1.295.030.02(k)).

This answer would change if Skye and her client maintained separate instances of the software on their respective servers and Skye could provide updated financial information to Elite Fleet Services.