On Accountability, Rules and Integrity

BY ROSALIE J. GERDING

Thank you for publishing the special bulletin “ To the Members of the AICPA ” from James G. Castellano and Barry C. Melancon (JofA, Mar.02, page 15).

I was relieved to read my profession’s official stance is that AICPA members will be held accountable for their actions: “The profession has zero tolerance for any CPA who does not adhere to the rules that are the hallmark of our reputation.”

However, it seems to me that additional rules, regulations, and guidelines are not really needed. Those of us who are among the “hundreds of thousands of CPAs [who] do their jobs every day with nothing but the highest level of integrity” follow the rules that already are in place to evaluate whether our independence could be compromised and immediately step away from a situation in which our independence and objectivity even appear to be compromised.

More rules won’t stop those CPAs willing to compromise integrity in the name of profit. Perhaps swift and harsh punishment would. I hope the AICPA does not shirk its duty to the rest of us.

Rosalie J. Gerding, CPA
Gerding, Korte & Chitwood
Columbia, Missouri

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