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Home > Ethics > Ethics Standards for Alaska CPAs
Prerequisite
None
Knowledge Level
Basic
Copyright 2011

Publication Date
November, 2011
Ethics Standards for Alaska CPAs
Introduction Organization Learning Objectives Author Bios
Title: Ethics Standards for Alaska CPAs
Prerequisite: None
Advance Preparation: None
Knowledge Level: Basic
Subject Matter Area: Behavioral Ethics, Regulatory Ethics
Date of Publication: November 2011
Copyright © 2011 by Bisk Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Recommended CPE Credits: 4 QAS/Registry (50-minute hour)
Expiration Date: One year from date of receipt to complete program and submit quizzer to obtain credit
Passing Grade for Quizzer: 70 percent or higher


With the number of negative, but high-profile cases gaining attention in recent years, it is imperative that practitioners be well-versed and clear as to their ethical responsibilities to the public that they serve. This program opens with a discussion of ethics in accounting and the business failures that resulted from a collapse in corporate governance systems. The focus then shifts to a discussion of the articles under the Alaska public accountancy statutes and regulations and continues with a look at the Alaska Board of Accountancy Rules of Professional Conduct. The program then takes a look at the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, and then closes with a discussion of PCAOB independence standards and the AICPA Statements on Standards for Tax Services.

Use of Materials

DVD
The user should begin by watching the DVD segment, if any, for the chapter before reading the text. The user may wish to make notes of the most important concepts and any terms that are new. Next, the user should review the learning objectives at the beginning of the chapter and read the chapter. The user should work through each of the examples. It may be helpful to highlight important material and/or to make additional notes. Next, the user should complete the study questions at the end of the chapter and review the answers. If the user answers a study question incorrectly, s/he should review the section of the text that is indicated at the end of the explanation to the study question to assure comprehension of the material. The user should review the learning objectives once more to consider achievement of the objectives. After the user has finished watching the DVD and reading the text and working through the study questions, s/he may wish to review her/his notes and any sections of the text or DVD that were difficult. When the user is ready, s/he should complete the quizzer. Reviewing notes periodically will increase retention of the material.

Online
The user should begin by watching the streamed video segment, if any, or listening to the streamed audio segment, if any, for the chapter before reading the text. The user may wish to make notes of the most important concepts and any terms that are new. Next, the user should review the learning objectives at the beginning of the chapter and read the chapter. The user should work through each of the examples. After the user has studied each chapter, s/he should click on the link at the left to complete the interactive study questions. If the user answers a study question incorrectly, s/he should review the section of the text that is indicated at the end of the explanation to the study question to assure comprehension of the material. The user should review the learning objectives once more to consider achievement of the objectives. After the user has finished watching the streamed video, if any, or listening to the streamed audio, if any, and reading the text and working through the study questions, s/he may wish to review her/his notes and any sections of the text or video/audio, if any, that were difficult. When the user is ready, s/he should click on the link to the left to complete the quizzer. The user's CPE certificate will be provided immediately upon successful completion of the quizzer.


This program is divided into seven (7) chapters, and an appendix.

Chapter 1 provides an introduction to ethics and discusses moral development.

Chapter 2 discusses ethics in accounting and the different corporate failures that resulted from a lack of ethical tone at the top.

Chapter 3 discusses the articles under the Alaska public accountancy statutes and regulations.

Chapter 4 takes a look at the Alaska Board of Accountancy Rules of Professional Conduct.

Chapter 5 examines the Alaska Board Rules with reference to the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.

Chapter 6 discusses other regulatory standards for auditor independence, including PCAOB Rules.

Chapter 7 takes a look at the Statements on Standards for Tax Services.

The Appendix The appendix contains a bibliography.


Helpful Guidance

Throughout this program, the user will find explanations and discussions regarding some of the issues that often face practitioners. In order to enhance the user's comprehension of the material and highlight important practical considerations, this program includes the following designations:

A Biskpoint presents analysis or commentary that attempts to explain or clarify authoritative guidance.

A Bisktip provides practical advice that may be used to help improve client service or service to the practitioner's organization.

A Biskalert is intended to warn the practitioner of a particular situation that may require action or other consideration by the client or the practitioner on behalf of the client.

A Biskplan offers a strategy/discussion point when a practitioner is faced with a particular issue or situation.

Upon successful completion of this program, the user should:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between following the law and ethical behavior

  • Discuss how virtue influences one's ability to reason ethically

  • Explain how one's moral development influences ethical decision making

  • Develop an understanding of the role of morality in ethical behavior

  • Explain how business failures were caused by breakdowns in corporate governance and what might be done to improve financial oversight

  • Discuss the role and responsibilities of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

  • Identify the characteristics of the accounting profession and the regulatory system for CPAs

  • Describe how the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 affects CPA firms

  • Explain how the Principles of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct provide the foundation for the Code's enforceable provisions (Rules)

  • Explain the requirements to become licensed to practice public accounting in Alaska

  • Discuss when the license may be suspended or revoked for disciplinary and other actions

  • Explain the requirements that have to be met for an out-of-state licensee to qualify for the practice privilege

  • Describe the obligations of a licensee to maintain the confidentiality of client information

  • Discuss the requirements to be independent, approach an engagement with objectivity, and maintain one's integrity

  • Describe the rules of conduct that pertain to performing services with due care and in accordance with professional standards

  • Explain the requirements to apply for licensure by reciprocity

  • Explain the requirements for license renewal, permits, and practice privileges

  • Describe the rules pertaining to continuing education

  • Discuss when a licensee must undergo a peer or quality review

  • Explain the independence, integrity and objectivity rules that implement Board rules in §12 AAC 04.010

  • Discuss the contingent fee rule that implements Board rules in §12 AAC 04.030

  • Explain the commissions rule that implements Board rules in §12 AAC 04.030

  • Identify relationships that violate the independence rules under the AICPA Code

  • Discuss how a CPA should handle differences of opinion in the application of accounting principles

  • Explain the responsibilities of a CPA using a third-party service provider

  • Discuss when a CPA can accept contingent fees and commissions

  • Evaluate whether independence may be impaired under PCAOB rules when accepting a contingent fee for services provided to an audit client

  • Evaluate whether independence may be impaired under PCAOB rules when marketing, planning, or opining on a tax-motivated transaction for an audit client

  • Identify when a conflict of interests may exist when a member of the audit engagement team accepts a position with a client

  • Identify the SEC's overarching principles that underlie auditor independence

  • Explain how the AICPA Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTS) affect a CPA's ethical and professional responsibilities in tax practice

  • Describe the ethical obligations of a tax practitioner to clients and the government

  • Answer questions about the ethical obligations of tax practitioners under the SSTS


Steven M. Mintz, PhD, is a professor at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. His expertise is in ethics and he teaches a course in accounting ethics at Cal Poly. Dr. Mintz is the holder of a PhD in Accounting and International Business from George Washington University, an MBA in Management Sciences from Syracuse University, and a BS in Accounting from Long Island University. He was certified in New York State but no longer practices as a licensed CPA. Dr. Mintz writes a popular ethics blog under the name, Ethics Sage. The website is: http://www.ethicssage.com. He has been interviewed by publications such as The New York Times because of his expertise in ethics. He has published about 30 papers in business and accounting ethics and made dozens of presentations on ethics topics to academic and professional groups. His textbook, co-authored with Roselyn Morris, Ethical Obligations and Decision-Making in Accounting: Text and Cases (2nd edition), was published by McGraw-Hill Irwin in 2011. The book is used in about 40 colleges and universities in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Mintz serves on the Ethics Curriculum Committee of the California Board of Accountancy that is charged with identifying 10-units of ethics education to be part of the state's 150-hour educational requirement. (Author/Speaker)

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