The Liability of Accountants Under the Securities Act

CPA Journal, pp. 90-93, 1986

5 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2009

See all articles by Christine Neylon O'Brien

Christine Neylon O'Brien

Boston College - Carroll School of Management

Date Written: October 28, 1986


Within the context of the general trend toward expanding legal liability, the accounting profession is no exception. Accountants were formerly a largely autonomous, self-regulating profession, largely immune from outside regulatory and legal pressures. While accountants have strengthened their standards and educational requirements, the specter of liability and the development of increased disciplinary activity have worked to create an environment which necessitates an assessment of the law's treatment of accountants. The author examines the civil and criminal liability statutes covering accountants, SEC Rules, as well as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The author concludes that due to this uncertainty, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and state Certified Public Accountant societies must provide guidance for their members, as well as provide much-needed legislative oversight and government regulation initiatives and proposals.

Suggested Citation

O'Brien, Christine Neylon, The Liability of Accountants Under the Securities Act (October 28, 1986). CPA Journal, pp. 90-93, 1986 , Available at SSRN:

Christine Neylon O'Brien (Contact Author)

Boston College - Carroll School of Management ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Business Law Department
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
(617) 552-0413 (Phone)
(617) 552-0414 (Fax)

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