(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) An “accountant” is a certified public accountant or a public accountant.
(b) A “client” is any person, public officer, corporation, association, or other organization or entity, either public or private, who consults an accountant with the purpose of obtaining accounting services.
(c) A communication between an accountant and the accountant’s client is “confidential” if it is not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than:
1. Those to whom disclosure is in furtherance of the rendition of accounting services to the client.
2. Those reasonably necessary for the transmission of the communication.
(2) A client has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, the contents of confidential communications with an accountant when such other person learned of the communications because they were made in the rendition of accounting services to the client. This privilege includes other confidential information obtained by the accountant from the client for the purpose of rendering accounting advice.
(3) The privilege may be claimed by:
(a) The client.
(b) A guardian or conservator of the client.
(c) The personal representative of a deceased client.
(d) A successor, assignee, trustee in dissolution, or any similar representative of an organization, corporation, or association or other entity, either public or private, whether or not in existence.
(e) The accountant, but only on behalf of the client. The accountant’s authority to claim the privilege is presumed in the absence of contrary evidence.
(4) There is no accountant-client privilege under this section when:
(a) The services of the accountant were sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit what the client knew or should have known was a crime or fraud.
(b) A communication is relevant to an issue of breach of duty by the accountant to the accountant’s client or by the client to his or her accountant.
(c) A communication is relevant to a matter of common interest between two or more clients, if the communication was made by any of them to an accountant retained or consulted in common when offered in a civil action between the clients.