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Friday, 28 December 2012

Integrity, Ability and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct

Ability and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct

Professional accountants’ competence is an indication of accounting profession’s credibility. Competence helps determine the level in which the public can trust the accountants in offering services. (AICPA, 2004, section 56) requires the accountants to have acquired technical and ethical professional knowledge and to learn on the job continually in order to maintain and improve their competence. According to rule, 201 CPAs should undertake tasks they can complete with professional competence. They should continuously strive to add value in their services. Their concern should be on the interest of the client.

According to item 02, continuous education and experience is the base of competence in accounting profession. Besides being a certified public accounts, one needs to enrich his or her competence through further education and profession al improvement. Professional ability enables a CPAs to maintain a level of understanding while using facilities to render services to the client. A CPA is able to evaluate the adequacy of his knowledge and experience to handle a given task. Item 04 of the code requires members to discharge responsibilities to the client with diligence.  Their work should be thorough in relation to the standards.  The AICPA code of conduct therefore requires the professionals to take due care through planning and supervising of their work.

 Integrity and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct

 Integrity is a virtue of character that enhances professional recognition. Integrity acts as a benchmark to which the public can test the reliability of the accountant’s decisions. Clients use CPAs’ integrity to judge the quality of services they offer. Members of the profession should therefore perform their work demonstrating a high level of integrity. They should observe the code of professional ethics in deciding the type and the scope of the work to do (AICPA, 2004, section54).  Members in execution of their duty should be objective and independent. They should not have conflicting interests but should strictly observe the code of professional ethics.

Accounting principles and standards should remain relevant to members at all times in duty.  To maintain integrity in their work, CPAs should practice their work with quality internal control structure to ensure the work is supervised. They should also exercise individual judgment in order to find whether the activity is in relation to their role. They should keep judgment private without misrepresentation (Cohen& Pant, 1991). Behavior contrary to the accounting principles and standards undermine integrity and create distrust (Collins, Schulz, 1995).

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