A number of large public accounting firms have organized their firms along

A number of large public accounting firms have

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A number of large public accounting firms have organized their firms along industry lines. Each industry group is made up of personnel involved in providing audit, tax, and consulting services for a specialized industry. The firms believe that such an organizational structure leads to the performance of higher-quality integrated services to firms in specialized industries. Responsibilities of the Professional Staff Human resources—the competence, judgment, and integrity of personnel—represent the greatest asset of any public accounting firm. The professional staff of a typical public accounting firm includes partners, managers, senior accountants, and staff assistants. Partners Partners The lead partner on an engagement is responsible for assuring that the audit is performed in accordance with applicable professional standards. Accordingly, this individual is ultimately responsible for adequate planning, supervision, and execution of the audit. Partners are also responsible for maintaining primary contacts with clients. These contacts include discussing with clients the objectives and scope of the audit work, resolving controversies that may arise as to how items are to be presented in the financial statements, and attending the client's stockholders' meetings to answer any questions regarding the financial statements or the auditors' report. Other responsibilities of the partner include recruiting new staff members, supervising the professional staff, reviewing audit working papers, and signing the audit reports. Page 21 Specialization by each partner in a different area of the firm's practice is often advantageous. One partner, for
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SEC registrations; and a third may devote full time to design and installation of computer information systems. The partnership level in a public accounting firm is comparable to that of top management in an industrial organization. Executives at this level are concerned with the long-run well-being of the organization and of the community it serves. They should and do contribute important amounts of time to civic, professional, and educational activities in the community. Participation in the state society of certified public accountants and in the AICPA is, of course, important if the partners are to do their share in building the profession. Contribution of their specialized skills and professional judgment to leadership of civic organizations is equally important to developing the economic and social environment in which business and professional accomplishment is possible. An important aspect of partners' active participation in various business and civic organizations is the prestige and recognition that may come to their firms. Many clients select a particular public accounting firm because they have come to know and respect one of the firm's partners. Thus, partners who are widely known and highly regarded within the community may be a significant factor in attracting business to the firm.
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