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Home > Ethics > Ethics Standards for Maryland CPAs
Prerequisite
None
Knowledge Level
Basic
Copyright 2012

Publication Date
January, 2012
Ethics Standards for Maryland CPAs
Introduction Organization Learning Objectives Author Bios
Title: Ethics Standards for Maryland CPAs
Prerequisite: None
Advance Preparation: None
Knowledge Level: Basic
Subject Matter Area: Behavioral Ethics, Regulatory Ethics
Date of Publication: January 2012
Copyright © 2012 by Bisk Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Recommended CPE Credits: Textbook &Video: 4 QAS/Registry (50-minute hour)
Textbook Only: 4 QAS/Registry (based on 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 and the different ethical reasoning methods, and the business failures that resulted from a lack of appropriate corporate governance. The focus then shifts to a discussion of the Maryland Code of Professional Conduct and the regulations Maryland CPAs must be in compliance with. The program then takes a look at the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, and 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 eight (8) chapters, and an appendix.

Chapter 1 provides an introduction to ethics and discusses the different ethical reasoning methods.

Chapter 2 discusses CPA responsibilities to the public and the different corporate failures that resulted from a lack of ethical tone at the top.

Chapter 3 discusses the Maryland Code of Professional Conduct.

Chapter 4 details the professional and business regulations Maryland CPAs must be incompliance with.

Chapter 5 examines Rules 101 and 102 under the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.

Chapter 6 covers additional AICPA ethics rules related to other responsibilities and practices.

Chapter 7 discusses other regulatory standards for auditor independence, including PCAOB Rules.

Chapter 8 takes a look at the Statements on Standards for Tax Services.

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:

  • Demonstrate how philosophical reasoning methods can assist in making ethical decisions

  • Identify the elements of utilitarianism, rights, and justice theories and how each might be used to reason out ethical dilemmas

  • Discuss how business entities have made mistakes in decision making by ignoring ethical reasoning considerations

  • Discuss how and why regulation of accounting has changed over time and the role of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

  • Discuss how the Principles of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct provide guidance in the performance of professional responsibilities

  • Explain how independence may be impaired because of certain relationships that may exist with a client entity

  • Discuss the ethical obligations of a licensee to maintain the confidentiality of client information and when client books and records and CPA work papers should be returned/provided to the client

  • Explain ownership and registration requirements for CPA firms

  • Identify the broad requirements for peer reviews in Maryland

  • Explain when certain acts discreditable may lead to disciplinary action against a licensee

  • Discuss the requirements to obtain a practice privilege in Maryland

  • List the requirements to hold a practice permit in the state

  • Identify when a licensee or permit holder must undertake a peer review of one's professional practice

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

  • Discuss 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

  • Determine when client provided records and other supporting information should be turned over to the client

  • Recognize the importance of other ethical responsibilities including permissible advertising and solicitation practices, the acceptance of commissions, contingent fees, and referral fees, and the form and name of organization used to practice public accounting

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


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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