Professional Ethics

All in a dishonest day’s work

It’s difficult to believe, but sometimes CPA firm employees, and even partners, steal from clients. While a CPA firm’s leaders may believe this would never happen to them, claim experience in the AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program demonstrates this does occur.

Ethics made easier: How to use the revised AICPA Code of Professional Conduct

The revised AICPA Code of Professional Conduct is accessible on a dynamic electronic platform that allows users to conduct and save basic and advanced searches. The platform includes features such as pop-ups for defined terms, the ability to create and name bookmarks, and create and save notes, as well as hyperlinking to content in the code and to external nonauthoritative material issued by staff of the Ethics Division.

Highlights of ethics research

The authors distill research published in tax and accounting journals of interest to busy practitioners. This article focuses on academic research in ethics.

Revised AICPA code of ethics … What’s the fuss?

If all goes as planned, a revised AICPA Code of Professional Conduct will be adopted by the Professional Ethics Executive Committee at its Jan. 28–29 meeting. In stark contrast to today’s code, the reformatted ethics code is intuitively organized. It separates the guidance by line of business, then by topic, and topics are further broken down as necessary into subtopics and sections. In addition, a number of substantive changes were made to existing guidance.

User-friendly AICPA Code of Ethics on horizon

Ethical decisions often need to be reached quickly, but the AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct (ethics code) is not structured for quick and easy navigation. A proposed reformatted ethics code is meant to change that. AICPA members are invited to comment on the proposal until Aug. 15. The current ethics

Independence is in the eye of the beholder

The independence of CPAs is the hallmark of the profession. As such, accountants put forth significant focus and effort to comply with independence requirements related to everything from investments to business and employment relationships to services delivered to clients. But being what accountants call independent in “fact” isn’t enough. CPAs

User-friendly AICPA ethics code on horizon

Ethical decisions often need to be reached quickly, but the AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct (ethics code) is not structured for quick and easy navigation. A proposed reformatted ethics code is meant to change that. AICPA members are invited to comment on the proposal until Aug. 15. The current ethics

Struggling European nations seen as more corrupt, report shows

In most parts of the world, perceived corruption of countries has remained the same during the past year. That’s good news in New Zealand, Denmark, and Finland, viewed in general as the most transparent. It’s more of the same for Somalia, North Korea, and Afghanistan, viewed as having the highest

Ethics / Compilation & review

Two AICPA committees extended comment deadlines to Nov. 30 on recently proposed revisions to professional standards. The proposed change to the ethics rules would require CPAs who prepare financial statements for attest clients to apply the general requirements of Interpretation No. 101-3, Nonattest Services, to maintain their independence. Proposed changes

Ethics IQ quiz

The AICPA Code of Professional Conduct (AICPA Professional Standards) is an ever-evolving document. Periodically, the JofA publishes answers from AICPA Professional Ethics Division staff to questions asked by AICPA members via the Institute’s Ethics Hotline or on topics related to revisions to the code. This set of questions and answers

Comment deadlines extended on proposed professional standard revisions

Two AICPA committees are extending comment deadlines to Nov. 30 on recently proposed revisions to professional standards. The proposed change to the ethics rules would require CPAs who prepare financial statements for attest clients to apply the general requirements of Interpretation No. 101-3, Nonattest Services, to maintain their independence. The

Proposed revisions clarify responsibilities for preparers

In accordance with recently proposed revisions to professional standards, CPAs who prepare financial statements for clients would consider that a nonattest bookkeeping service and would no longer be required to perform a compilation service with respect to those financial statements unless engaged to do so. The changes, proposed in June

Bridging the ethical divide: Survey finds firms lagging

More organizations are voicing a commitment to ethical performance, but their proclamations do not appear to be matched by action—a disconnect that is emerging as financial professionals are facing more pressure to act unethically. That ethical divide was among the key findings of Managing Responsible Business: A Global Survey on

PCAOB invites additional comments on audit firm rotation

The PCAOB is soliciting further public comment on its concept release on auditor independence and mandatory audit firm rotation in anticipation of a public meeting on the issue Thursday in San Francisco. The comment period for the concept release was reopened Monday and will be extended through July 28. The

Audit rotation debated in House subcommittee hearing

Members of Congress asked pointed questions of PCAOB Chairman James Doty on Wednesday as the hot topic of mandatory audit firm rotation was debated during a wide-ranging discussion of accounting and auditing issues in front of a House subcommittee. Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., the chairman of the House Subcommittee on

PCAOB panelists say mandatory firm rotation could be harmful, helpful

Panelists voiced opposing views of mandatory audit firm rotation Wednesday during the first of two days of PCAOB hearings on the concept. Critics of mandatory rotation said it would be costly with questionable benefits, while proponents said rotation would increase auditors’ objectivity. Many panelists proposed strategies other than rotation that

PCAOB reopens comment period on audit firm rotation concept release

The PCAOB has reopened its comment period regarding a debated concept release on auditor independence and audit firm rotation. The original comment period closed Dec. 14. The new deadline is April 22, the PCAOB said Wednesday. The board extended the deadline to incorporate comments following a March 21–22 public meeting

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How tax reform — and Excel — are changing the CPA Exam

Mike Decker, the vice president of examinations at the AICPA, discusses changes being made to the exam as a result of tax reform — and about how Excel will now be available for use on the test.