||Ethical Obligations of CPAs
|Subject Matter Area:
||Regulatory Ethics, Behavioral Ethics
|Date of Publication:
||2015 by Thomson Reuters/Tax & Accounting All rights reserved.
|Recommended CPE Credits:
| Textbook w/Video Online:
||4 QAS/Registry (based on 50 minute hour)
| Textbook Only & Online:
||4 QAS/Registry (based on 50 minute hour)
||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 what is meant by ethics and the factors that influence moral development. To keep discussions flowing, the text gives case studies and examples to illustrate ethical decision-making points, and discusses fraud reporting and whistleblowing in relation to the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act. The author also reviews the various rules and requirements that CPAs need to be in compliance with, including the AICPA Principles and Rules of Conduct, revisions to this code, Statements on Standards for Tax Services, and the PCAOB Ethics and Independence Rules.
CPEasy alert: The AICPA Code has undergone a comprehensive restructuring. The Professional Ethics Enforcement Committee (PEEC) approved a revised Code at its January 28, 2014 meeting, subject to editorial review. The revised Code will be effective December 15, 2014. The new conceptual frameworks and related interpretations however, will not be effective until December 15, 2015. The revised AICPA Code will be housed in a new system with expanded features, which is expected to be live by the 3rd quarter of 2014. Refer to Appendix D (mapping document) in the revised AICPA code, for specific citation number reference.
Use of Materials
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.
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 eight (8) chapters.
Chapter 1 provides an introduction to ethics and discusses moral development.
Chapter 2 discusses fraud reporting, subordination of judgment, and the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act.
Chapter 3 the characteristics of accounting as a profession, business failures resulting from a lack of ethics, and ethical dilemmas in accounting.
Chapter 4 discusses the revised AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.
Chapter 5 takes a look at the independence restrictions CPAs must be aware of in practice.
Chapter 6 examines additional rules under the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.
Chapter 7 takes a look at the Statements on Standards for Tax Services and PCAOB Rules.
Chapter 8 The Glossary defines frequently used key terms
Throughout this publication, 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 publication includes the following designations:
A CPEasy alert 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 CPEasy plan offers a strategy/discussion point when a practitioner is faced with a particular issue or situation.
A CPEasy point presents analysis or commentary that attempts to explain or clarify authoritative guidance.
A CPEasy tip 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:
- Recognize the relationship between following the law and ethical behavior
- Identify the role of integrity in ethical decision making
- Identify the elements of utilitarianism, rights, and justice theories and how each might be used to reason out ethical dilemmas
- Discuss how and why regulation of accounting has changed over time and the role of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
- Determine what is required by the integrity and objectivity standards
- Discuss how the Principles of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct provide guidance in the performance of professional responsibilities
- Identify when threats to independence may impair independence in the performance of professional services
- Explain when relationships between a CPA and a CPA's immediate family and close relatives might impair independence
- Describe the safeguards that may mitigate independence threats
- Identify the responsibilities of a CPA using a third-party service provider
- Identify when a CPA can accept contingent fees and commissions
- Identify a CPA's ethical responsibilities when rendering an opinion on the client's financial statements
- Describe the ethical obligations of a tax practitioner to clients and the government
- Identify when the provision of tax services impairs auditor independence under PCAOB rules
- Explain when the provision of services related to marketing, planning, or opining on tax transactions violates independence standards
- Identify the services requiring when audit committee pre-approval before providing professional services to an audit client
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 (3rd edition), was published by McGraw-Hill Irwin in 2014. The book is used in about 40 colleges and universities in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Mintz edited the Advances in Business Ethics Research series "Accounting for the Public Interest: Perspectives on Accountability, Professionalism and Role in Society." 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)