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§621.4 Audit by qualified public accountant.
(a) Each institution shall, at least annually, have its financial statements audited by a qualified public accountant in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.
(b) The qualified public accountant's opinion of each institution's financial statements must be included as a part of each annual report to shareholders. The accountant must comply with the auditor independence provisions of subpart E of this part.
(c) If an institution disagrees with the opinion of a qualified public accountant required by paragraph (b) of this section, the following actions shall be taken immediately:
(1) The institution shall prepare a brief but thorough written description of the scope and content of the disagreement, noting each point of disagreement and citing, in all cases, the specific provisions of generally accepted accounting principles and generally accepted auditing standards upon which the institution's position in the disagreement is based;
(2) A copy of the institution's final description of the disagreement shall be given to the accountant who provided the opinion with which the institution disagrees;
(3) The accountant shall have 10 business days to develop and provide a brief but thorough final response to the institution's description of the disagreement, including all items believed to be incorrect or incomplete, and citing, in all cases, the specific provisions of generally accepted accounting principles and generally accepted auditing standards upon which the accountant's position in the disagreement is based;
(4) Both the institution's final description of the disagreement and the accountant's final response to it shall be included in the institution's annual report to shareholders directly following the accountant's opinion of the institution's financial statements; and
(5) The institution shall immediately notify the Chief Examiner, Farm Credit Administration, of any disagreement with its accountant and shall furnish the Farm Credit Administration with the written documentation required by paragraphs (c) (1) through (4) of this section.
(d) If an institution selects a qualified public accountant to audit its financial statements and provide an opinion thereon for its annual report who is different from the accountant whose opinion appeared in the institution's most recent annual report, the following items shall be sent to the Farm Credit Administration no later than 15 days after the end of the month in which the change took place and shall be included in the institution's annual meeting information statement and annual report to shareholders for the year in which the change of accountants took place:
(1) The name and address of the accountant whose opinion appeared in the institution's most recent annual report to shareholders;
(2) A brief but thorough statement of the reasons the accountant selected for the most recent annual report was not selected for the current annual report. If the change resulted from a disagreement with the accountant, the statement shall describe the institution's disagreement with the accountant's opinion and the accountant's final response to the institution's disagreement prepared pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section; and
(3) The identification of the highest ranking officer, committee of officers, or board of directors, as appropriate, that recommended, approved, or otherwise made the decision to change qualified public accountants.
[58 FR 48786, Sept. 20, 1993, as amended at 71 FR 76120, Dec. 20, 2006]