Test Your Knowledge of Professional Ethics
P eriodically, the Journal publishes ethics questions raised by American Institute of CPAs members. This set deals with ET section 500, "Other Responsibilities and Practices," of AICPA Professional Standards .*
May a member's firm include its name on a tax newsletter if
it was not prepared by the firm?
Two members, A and B, are sole proprietors and would like
to work together on a client engagement. Although A and B have not
legally formed a partnership, they would like to use a joint
letterhead ("A & B, CPAs") in connection with the
engagement. Is this permissible under the Code of Professional
A member is not an owner of a firm but shares in its
profits and has overall responsibility for certain client accounts.
The member has been promised a partnership interest in the firm in
the near future. Would it be proper to include the member's name on
the firm's letterhead under the caption "Partners"?
A CPA firm's marketing brochure, prepared by an outside
agency, includes the following statement: "When it comes to
taxes, no other firm has the knowledge and experience of XY&Z,
CPAs." Would this statement be in violation of Rule
502-Advertising and Solicitation?
A member terminates his or her relationship with a firm and
establishes a practice as a sole proprietor. May the member solicit
clients of the former firm?
In an ad in the yellow pages, a member refers to himself or
herself as a "tax expert." Is this permissible under the
Code of Professional Conduct?
Yes, provided reasonable measures are taken to ensure the
information contained within the publication is not false,
misleading or deceptive.
No. Use of the letterhead would be considered misleading
because a true partnership does not exist.
No. Until the member is legally a partner, it would be
misleading to so include the member's name.
Probably. Such a representation would be considered false
or misleading if there is no practical way to substantiate the
Yes, provided the member does not solicit clients in a
false, misleading, deceptive or harassing manner.
- Possibly. The use of such a designation is permissible provided the member can demonstrate he or she has expertise in the tax area as a result of education, training, experience, etc.
Edited by Lisa A.
Snyder, technical manager, in the AICPA professional ethics