2021 Maryland Statutes
Courts and Judicial Proceedings
Title 9 - Witnesses
Subtitle 1 - Competence, Compellability, and Privilege
Section 9-110 - Privileged Communications -- Accountants

    (a)    (1)    In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

        (2)    (i)    “Firm” means a proprietorship, partnership, or professional corporation engaged in the practice of public accountancy.

            (ii)    “Firm” includes an employee of the firm.

        (3)    (i)    “Licensed certified public accountant” has the meaning stated in § 2–101(i) of the Business Occupations and Professions Article.

            (ii)    “Licensed certified public accountant” includes an employee of the licensed certified public accountant.

        (4)    “Permit” has the meaning stated in § 2–101(k) of the Business Occupations and Professions Article.

        (5)    “Practice of certified public accountancy” has the meaning stated for “practice certified public accountancy” in § 2–101(m) of the Business Occupations and Professions Article.

        (6)    (i)    “Practice of public accountancy” means the performance or the offering to perform by a licensed certified public accountant or a firm, while holding out to the public, services for a client or a potential client that involve:

                1.    The use of accounting or auditing skills, including the issuance of reports on financial statements;

                2.    Financial management, advice, or consultation; or

                3.    The preparation of tax returns or the furnishing of advice about tax matters.

            (ii)    “Practice of public accountancy” includes the practice of certified public accountancy.

        (7)    “Quality review” means an independent appraisal, review, or study of the professional work of a licensed certified public accountant or firm in the practice of public accountancy that is made by a licensed certified public accountant or firm that is not affiliated with the licensed certified public accountant or firm undergoing a quality review.

    (b)    Except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) of this section or unless expressly permitted by a client or the personal representative or successor in interest of the client, a licensed certified public accountant or firm may not disclose:

        (1)    The contents of any communication made to the licensed certified public accountant or firm by a client who employs the licensed certified public accountant or firm to audit, examine, or report on any account, book, record, or statement of the client;

        (2)    Any information that the licensed certified public accountant or firm, in rendering professional service, derives from:

            (i)    A client who employs the licensed certified public accountant or firm; or

            (ii)    The material of the client.

    (c)    (1)    A licensed certified public accountant or firm may disclose any data to another certified public accountant or firm that conducts a quality review.

        (2)    The disclosure permitted by paragraph (1) of this subsection:

            (i)    Does not waive the privilege required by subsection (b) of this section; and

            (ii)    Subjects a licensed certified public accountant or firm that conducts a quality review to the same duty of confidentiality applicable to the licensed certified public accountant or firm undergoing the quality review.

    (d)    The privilege against disclosure required by subsection (b) of this section does not affect:

        (1)    The bankruptcy laws;

        (2)    The criminal laws of the State; or

        (3)    A regulatory proceeding by the State Board of Public Accountancy under §§ 2–317 and 2–412 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article.

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