Overview: The American Institute of CPAs’ Code of Professional Conduct

AICPA pic
AICPA
Image: aicpa.org

Located in Washington, D.C., Right Advisory LLC has provided business consulting services since 2008. Right Advisory LLC offers certified public accountants (CPAs) and finance professionals continuing education courses on topics such as accounting ethics. Right Advisory LLC is a member of the American Institute of CPAs.

In 2014, the American Institute of CPAs amended its Code of Professional Conduct. Its Professional Ethics Executive Committee restructured the standards to give individuals more clarity on each rule. The code was reformatted with similar subjects grouped under a single heading and with a conceptual framework designed to improve consistent enforcement of ethical standards.

The framework consists of two types, one catering to business and another to public practice. Both are structured like a flowchart. They follow four steps, identifying threats, evaluating threats, identifying safeguards, and evaluating safeguards. A professional would consider whether or not a potential threat complies with ethical standards and determine if it meets a level of acceptance that warrants continuation of services. Then he or she would develop safeguards that reduce or eliminate the risks. It is also acceptable to formulate safeguards that bring threats down to an acceptable level in order to provide services. Depending on the situation, a financial professional may discontinue services to comply with the Code of Professional Conduct.