Posted by: Tom Christensen
The Illinois Appellate Court recently clarified that the privilege of accountant confidentiality belongs to the client, not to the accountant. Previously, two federal cases had construed Section 27 of the Illinois Public Accounting Act as creating a confidentiality privilege that must be asserted by the CPA. In the recent case of Brunton v. Kruger, 2014 Il App (4th) 130421 (March 27, 2014), the Illinois Appellate Court held that even though Section 27 of the Act does not refer to clients, the privilege belongs to, and is properly asserted by, the client. The Court reasoned that Section 27 does not exist for the benefit of CPAs; it exists for the benefit of clients, to encourage them to make full disclosures to their CPAs, therefore, the privilege is for the benefit of and is properly asserted by clients.