In July 2019, the AICPA issued the first authoritative professional standard on forensic services. The new standard articulates a novel paradigm for understanding what constitutes a forensic service, focusing on whether the service is for a litigation or investigation purpose, as defined. SSFS1 consolidates prior guidance into a single, clear statement and imposes some new restrictions, including a prohibition on the ultimate conclusion of fraud. It has important implications for practitioners, educators and researchers alike, all with the goal of increasing the quality and consistency of forensic service engagements. Practitioners need to reassess the applicability of the standard and its impact on engagement acceptance and execution processes. Educators should feature SSFS1 prominent in their curricula, leveraging it for lessons on practice, ethics and decision-making skills. Researchers have rich opportunities to contribute scholarly work to support future standard setting and the public interest in this maturing area of the profession.

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