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Home > Ethics > Ethics Standards for Maine CPAs
Prerequisite
None
Knowledge Level
Basic
Copyright 2015

Publication Date
January, 2015
Ethics Standards for Maine CPAs
Introduction Organization Learning Objectives Author Bios
Title: Ethics Standards for Maine CPAs
Prerequisite: None
Advance Preparation: None
Knowledge Level: Basic
Subject Matter Area: Regulatory Ethics, Behavioral Ethics
Date of Publication: January 2015
Copyright © 2015 by Thomson Reuters/Tax & Accounting All rights reserved.
Recommended CPE Credits:
Textbook w/Video Online: 4
Textbook Only & Online: 4
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 the discussion of ethical concepts and how they can assist in making ethical decisions, as well as CPA responsibilities to the public. The program will then cover how the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct will be changing, and CPA responsibilities to the public as outlined in the AICPA Code. We will then close with a look at the different tax standards and PCAOB rules.

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 focuses on the definition of, and influences on, ethical behavior and how it is achieved using a moral development model.

Chapter 2 explains a CPA's responsibilities to the public as described in the AICPA Principles of Professional Conduct and philosophical reasoning methods that can assist in making ethical decisions.

Chapter 3 describes the Maine State Board of Accountancy laws.

Chapter 4 describes the Maine State Board of Accountancy rules.

Chapter 5 examines the bedrock standards of the profession—independence, integrity and objectivity—that exist in the AICPA Rules of Professional Conduct.

Chapter 6 covers other AICPA ethics rules.

Chapter 7 explains the rules of professional conduct as they relate to providing tax services and the PCAOB rules concerning ethics and independence.

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 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.

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.

Upon successful completion of this program, the user should be able to:

  • Identify the different characteristics of ethics

  • Identify what does and what does not affect the ideals of accepted standards of behavior

  • Determine which factors should and should not be emphasized in making ethical decisions

  • Identify the parties affected by actions or decisions

  • Determine the factors that contributed to the business failures of Enron, Worldcom, and Tyco

  • Identify the professions having self-regulatory mechanisms

  • Determine how long he board of directors have to notify the SEC once the external auditing firm has provided the board with their report on its conclusions regarding the potential fraud

  • Determine common explanations given to the internal accountant for coercion to concur with potentially materially misstated financial statements

  • Determine when the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law

  • Identify when the Dodd-Frank Act permits internal accountants and auditors to blow the whistle on their employers

  • Identify the best definition of ethical conflicts in the revised AICPA Code

  • Recognize the different types of threats to independence

  • Identify, in the case of ESM Government Securities, what the lead audit partner of Alexander Grant was found guilty of

  • Determine when a CPA be permitted to accept a contingent fee from a current tax client without violating Rule 302 of the AICPA Code

  • Identify when failure to follow requirements of governmental bodies, commissions, or other regulatory agencies most likely would lead to a violation of which of the following rules in the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct

  • Determine the proper ways in which a CPA can advertise or solicit clients

  • Identify the different types of tax reporting standards and the corresponding likelihood amounts of each


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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