There are a number restrictive accountancy laws promoted by the American Institute of Certified of Public Accountants and its affiliated state societies which limit the right to express opinions on financial statements and the use of certain occupational titles to licensed CPAs. There are also restrictions on accountants from practicing law. Likewise, non certified accountants are restricted from practicing accounting.
In all 50 states, accountants shall cannot provide legal advice to their clients. As such, an accountant cannot answer questions relating to interpretation or application of tax statutes, administrative regulations and rulings, court decisions, or general law.
There are legal restrictions that define the range of services that can be performed for certified and non-certified accountants. For example, there are three main types of financial statements that can be prepared by accountants: (1) audited, (2) reviewed, (3) compiled. Only a CPA can prepare an audited financial statement and a reviewed financial statement. However, both CPAs and non-certified accountants, including bookkeepers, can prepare compiled financial statements.