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Home > Ethics > Ethics Standards for Washington CPAs
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Prerequisite
None
Knowledge Level
Basic
Copyright 2014

Publication Date
November, 2014
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Ethics Standards for Washington CPAs
Introduction Organization Learning Objectives Author Bios
Title: Ethics Standards for Washington CPAs
Prerequisite: None
Advance Preparation: None
Knowledge Level: Basic
Subject Matter Area: Behavioral Ethics, Regulatory Ethics
Date of Publication: November 2014
Copyright © 2014 by Thomson Reuters/Tax & Accounting All rights reserved.
Recommended CPE Credits:  
     Textbook & Video: 4 QAS/Registry (based on 50-minute hour)
     Textbook Only & Online: 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 the various rules and requirements that CPAs need to be in compliance with, including the AICPA Principles and Rules of Conduct and the requirements of the Washington State Board of Accountancy. Case studies and scenarios are provided at the closing of the course to illustrate ethical decisions and how the relate to the responsibilities under the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.

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 nine (9) chapters.

Chapter 1 discusses the revised AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.

Chapter 2 examines independence and integrity requirements under the AICPA Code.

Chapter 3 discusses additional rules under the AICPA Code.

Chapter 4 reviews the Public Accountancy Act (RCW 18.04).

Chapter 5 describes the Washington State Board Rules of Conduct and prohibited practices under these rules.

Chapter 6 takes a look at the licensing, competency, and enforcement rules under the Washington State Board Rules of Conduct.

Chapter 7 examines different case studies and scenarios for rules of professional conduct.

Chapter 8 defines frequently used key terms.

Chapter 9 outlines recent and pending changes from the Washington BOA.


Helpful Guidance

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 Bisk 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 Bisk CPEasy point presents analysis or commentary that attempts to explain or clarify authoritative guidance.

A Bisk 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:

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

  • Determine when threats to independence may impair independence in the performance of attest services and safeguards that help to mitigate such threats

  • Recognize case scenarios that pertain to providing professional services in the practice of public accounting

  • Determine when a CPA would be permitted to accept a contingent fee from a current tax client

  • Determine when failure to follow requirements of governmental bodies, commissions, or other regulatory agencies would lead to a violation of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct

  • Identify how a licensee can properly advertise or use other forms of soliciting clients

  • Determine what an inactive license holder can and cannot do

  • Recognize how a licensee can cooperate with Board investigations

  • Recognize the Washington State Board Rules of Conduct for the licensee return of client books and records to the client and commissions/contingent fees

  • Identify the rules regarding responses to Board inquiries

  • Determine the behaviors associated with integrity in practice

  • Identify the requirements found in the professional standards listed in WAC 4-30-048 and how they differ from the requirements found in specific Washington Board of Accountancy Rules of Conduct

  • Recognize how the confidentiality of client information must be maintained absent client permission to disclose

  • Determine what constitutes an act discreditable to the profession

  • Identify what an out-of-state licensed CPA who is granted the substantial equivalency privilege to practice in Washington must consent to

  • Determine the amount of time a firm that is dropped or terminated by a peer review program for any reason shall have to provide written notice to the board of such termination or drop and to request authorization from the board to enroll in another board-approved peer review program


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)



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