professional ethics

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What are Ethics?: 

What are Ethics? Ethics can be defined broadly as a set of moral principles or values . Each of us has such a set of values. We may or may not have considered them explicitly.

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Professional Ethics Presented by: Zahra Mehdi Virani

Why People Act Unethically: 

Why People Act Unethically The person’s ethical standards are different from those of society as a whole. The person chooses to act selfishly. In many instances, both reasons exist.

A Person’s Ethical Standards Differ from General Society: 

A Person’s Ethical Standards Differ from General Society Embezzlers Con artists Shoplifters Most people who commit such acts feel no remorse when they are apprehended because their ethical standards differ from those of society as a whole.

A Person Chooses to Act Selfishly – Example: 

A Person Chooses to Act Selfishly – Example Person A finds a briefcase containing important papers and $1,000. He tosses the briefcase and keeps the money. He brags to his friends about his good fortune. This action probably differs from most of society.

Rationalizing Unethical Behavior: 

Rationalizing Unethical Behavior Everybody does it. If it’s legal, it’s ethical. Likelihood of discovery and consequences

Ethical Dilemmas: 

Ethical Dilemmas An ethical dilemma is a situation a person faces in which a decision must be made about appropriate behavior.

Resolving Ethical Dilemmas: 

Resolving Ethical Dilemmas 1. Obtain the relevant facts. 2. Identify the ethical issues from the facts. 3. Determine who is affected.

Resolving Ethical Dilemmas: 

Resolving Ethical Dilemmas 4. Identify the alternatives available to the person who must resolve the dilemma . 5. Identify the likely consequence of each alternative. 6. Decide the appropriate action.

Ethical Dilemma: 

Ethical Dilemma A staff person has been informed that he will work hours without recording them as hours worked. Firm policy prohibits this practice . Another staff person has stated that this is common practice in the firm .

Resolving the Ethical Dilemma: 

Resolving the Ethical Dilemma Is it ethical for the staff person to work hours and not record them as hours worked in this situation? Who is affected? How are they affected? What alternatives does the staff person have?

Other Ethical Dilemmas: 

Other Ethical Dilemmas A supervisor asks you to initial certain audit procedures as performed when they were not. You conclude that you cannot be promoted to manager unless you persuade assistants to work hours that they do not record. Management informs you, now a partner, that either the company gets an unqualified opinion for a $40,000 audit fee or the company will change auditors. Management informs you that the audit fee will be increased $25,000 if you can find a plausible way to increase earnings by $1 million.

Special Need for Ethical Conduct in Professions: 

Special Need for Ethical Conduct in Professions Our society has attached a special meaning to the term professional . A professional is expected to conduct himself or herself at a higher level than most other members of society.

CPAs Encouraged to Conduct Themselves at a High Level: 

CPAs Encouraged to Conduct Themselves at a High Level Conduct of CPA firm personnel CPA examination GAAS and interpretations Continuing education requirements

CPAs Encouraged to Conduct Themselves at a High Level: 

CPAs Encouraged to Conduct Themselves at a High Level Conduct of CPA firm personnel SEC Peer review Quality control

CPAs Encouraged to Conduct Themselves at a High Level: 

CPAs Encouraged to Conduct Themselves at a High Level Conduct of CPA firm personnel Legal liability Division of CPA firms Code of Professional Conduct

AICPA Code of Professional Conduct: 

AICPA Code of Professional Conduct Principles Rules of conduct Interpretation of the rules of conduct Ethical rulings Four parts to the Code:

Code of Professional Conduct: 

Code of Professional Conduct Principles Ideal standards of ethical conduct in philosophical terms They are not enforceable. Rules of conduct Minimum standards of ethical conduct stated as specific rules They are enforceable.

Code of Professional Conduct: 

Code of Professional Conduct Interpretation of the rules of conduct Interpretation of the rules of conduct by the AICPA Division of Professional Ethics They are not enforceable, but a practitioner must justify departure.

Code of Professional Conduct: 

Code of Professional Conduct Ethical rulings Published explanations and answers to questions about the rules of conduct submitted to the AICPA by practitioners and others interested in ethical requirements They are not enforceable, but a practitioner must justify departure.

Ethical Principles: 

Ethical Principles 1. Responsibilities Professionals should exercise sensitive and moral judgments in all their activities. Members should accept the obligation to act in a way that will serve and honor the public. 2. Public Interest

Ethical Principles: 

Ethical Principles 3. Integrity Members should perform all responsibilities with integrity to maintain public confidence. Members should be objective, independent, and free of conflicts of interest. 4. Objectivity and Independence

Ethical Principles: 

Ethical Principles 5. Due Care Members should observe the profession’s standards and strive to improve competence. A member in public practice should observe the Code of Professional Conduct. 6. Scope and Nature of Services

Independence: 

Independence Independence means taking an unbiased viewpoint in performing audit tests. Independence in fact Independence in appearance Other sources of independence include: SEC (revised in 2000), Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002, Independence Standards Board (1997-2001), State Boards of Accountancy (rules of conduct)

Rules of Conduct: Independence: 

Rules of Conduct: Independence Rule 101 – Independence A member in public practice shall be independent in the performance of professional services as required by standards promulgated by bodies designated by Council.

Interpretations: Financial Interests: 

Interpretations: Financial Interests Interpretations of Rule 101 prohibit covered members from owning any direct investments in audit clients. Direct financial interest Indirect financial interest Material or immaterial

Related Financial Interests Issues: 

Related Financial Interests Issues Former practitioners (permit) Normal lending procedures (some permitted) Financial interest and employment of immediate (prohibited) and close family (permit) Joint investor or investee relationship with client (prohibited) Director, officer, management, or employee of a company (prohibited)

Related Financial Interests Issues: 

Related Financial Interests Issues A lawsuit or intent to start a lawsuit between a CPA firm and its client is a violation of Rule 101 for the current audit. The interpretations permit a CPA firm to do both bookkeeping and auditing for the same client. The SEC prohibits performing bookkeeping and auditing services by the same CPA firm.

Related Financial Interests Issues: 

Related Financial Interests Issues Internal auditing and extended audit services (ok if not appear or act as management Or employee) Unpaid fees (prohibit)

Rules of Conduct: 

Rules of Conduct 101 Independence 102 Integrity and objectivity 201 General standards 202 Compliance with standards 203 Accounting principles 301 Confidential client information

Rules of Conduct: 

Rules of Conduct 302 Contingent fees 501 Acts discreditable 502 Advertising and other forms of solicitation 503 Commissions and referral fees 505 Form of organization and name See Table 4-1 for complete definitions

Enforcement: 

Enforcement Action by AICPA Professional Ethics Division Action by a State Board of Accountancy It’s all a matter of trust.

End of Chapter 4: 

End of Chapter 4