Codes of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Accountants

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1 EYK 1 5 Codes of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Accountants SELECTION FROM THE CERTIFIED GENERAL ACCOUNTANTS OF ALBERTA S CODE OF ETHICAL PRINCIPLES AND RULES OF CONDUCT 1 CODE OF ETHICAL PRINCIPLES (a) Responsibilities to Society Registrants have a fundamental responsibility to safeguard and advance the interests of society. This implies acting with trustworthiness, integrity and objectivity. This responsibility extends beyond a registrant s own behaviour to the behaviour of colleagues and to the standards of the Association and the profession. (b) Trust and Duties Registrants shall act in the interest of their clients, employers, and interested third parties, and shall be prepared to sacrifice their self-interest to do so. Registrants shall honour the trust bestowed on them by others, and shall not use their privileged position without their principal s knowledge and consent. Registrants shall avoid conflicts of interest. (c) Due Care and Professional Judgement Registrants shall strive to continually upgrade and develop their technical knowledge and skills in the areas in which they practice as professionals. This technical expertise shall be employed with due professional care and judgement. (d) Deceptive Information Registrants shall not be associated with any information which the registrant knows, or ought to know, to be false or misleading, whether by statement or omission. (e) Professional Practice Registrants shall act openly and fairly towards others in the practice of their profession. (f) Responsibilities to the Profession Registrants shall always act in accordance with the duties and responsibilities associated with being members of the profession, and shall carry on work in a manner which will enhance the image of the profession and the Association. LO Describe the codes of ethics and professional conduct for accountants. 1 The Certified General Accountants of Alberta, Code of Ethical Principles and Rules of Conduct. The complete code can be found at: 1

2 2 Extend Your Knowledge 1-5 Codes of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Accountants SELECTION FROM THE CODE OF ETHICS FOR CERTIFIED MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANTS Core Principles Each article of the code consists of a statement of principle. Each statement of principle expresses an obligation of the registrant in a general way. The rules are more specific than the statement of principle and frequently include examples to illustrate points. The rules may expand upon a statement of principle, but will not limit the scope of the statement. The rules are mandatory, and state specific duties and obligations of the registrant. The application of a rule in a given case will depend on the particular facts and all circumstances. The division of the code and rules into articles and the use of headings is for convenience of reference only and shall not affect their application. ARTICLE I COMPETENCE AND PROFICIENCY A registrant has a duty to be competent and should strive for a high level of proficiency in the services provided. A registrant shall perform all services with the degree of care, diligence and skill which would be exercised in comparable circumstances by a reasonably prudent registrant suitably trained and experienced for the competent performance of the services. A registrant has a duty to serve the employer s or client s best interests, subject to limitations imposed by law or professional ethics. ARTICLE II RELATIONSHIP OF THE REGISTRANT TO THE PROFESSION A registrant has a duty to uphold the standards and reputation of the profession and to aid in the advancement of CMA Alberta s goals. A registrant shall not advise or otherwise assist in committing a crime or fraud. ARTICLE III RELATIONSHIP OF THE REGISTRANT TO OTHER ACCOUNTANTS A registrant has a duty to deal with all other accountants honourably and with integrity. ARTICLE IV CONFLICT OF INTEREST In each matter, a registrant s judgment and fidelity to the employer s or client s interests must be free from conflict of interest. ARTICLE V CONFIDENTIALITY A registrant has a duty to keep private and confidential all confidential information. ARTICLE VI THE REGISTRANT IN ACTIVITIES OTHER THAN THE PROFESSION OF ACCOUNTING Activities engaged in by a registrant outside the profession must not compromise the registrant s professional responsibilities nor bring the profession into disrepute. ARTICLE VII THE REGISTRANT EMPLOYED OUTSIDE PUBLIC ACCOUNTING PRACTICE A registrant employed outside public accounting practice has a duty to serve the employer s best interests, subject to limitations imposed by law or professional ethics. 2 The Society of Management Accountants of Alberta, Code of Ethics. The complete code can be found at:

3 Extend Your Knowledge 1-5 Codes of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Accountants 3 ARTICLE VIII THE REGISTRANT AND THE MANAGEMENT AND OPERATION OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTING PRACTICE Except where a higher standard is imposed by this code and these rules, a registrant, in managing and operating the registrant s public accounting practice, shall adhere to the highest business standards in the community. The registrant has a duty to ensure that the public receives only accurate and reasonably complete information about the nature and availability of services in public accounting practice. A registrant s fee shall not exceed a fair and reasonable amount.

4 4 Extend Your Knowledge 1-5 Codes of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Accountants SELECTION FROM THE ICAO RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT 3 To grasp the breadth of the rules of professional conduct, we will review the table of contents for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, which includes the following: FIRST BYLAW OF 1973 FOREWORD Application of the rules of professional conduct Interpretation of the rules of professional conduct GENERAL 101 Compliance with bylaws, regulations and rules Conviction of criminal or similar offences Reporting disciplinary suspension, expulsion or restriction of right to practice 103 False or misleading applications 104 Requirement to co-operate 105 Hindrance, inappropriate influence and intimidation STANDARDS OF CONDUCT AFFECTING THE PUBLIC INTEREST 201.1,.2&.3 Maintenance of reputation of profession Advocacy services Integrity and due care Objectivity Professional competence 204 Independence Assurance and specified auditing procedures engagements Identification of threats and safeguards Documentation Specific prohibitions, assurance and specified auditing procedures engagements Members must disclose prohibited interests and relationships Firms to ensure compliance by partners and professional employees Independence: insolvency engagements Disclosure of impaired independence 205 False or misleading documents and oral representations 206 Compliance with professional standards 207 Unauthorized benefits 208 Confidentiality of information 209 Borrowing from clients 210 Conflict of interest 211 Duty to report breach of rules of professional conduct Handling of trust funds and other property Handling property of others 213 Unlawful activity 214 Fee quotations 215 Contingent fees 3 ICAO, Rules of Professional Conduct (Toronto Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario). Other provincial institutes have similar provisions. The complete set of rules can be found at:

5 Extend Your Knowledge 1-5 Codes of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Accountants Payment or receipt of commissions Advertising and promotion Solicitation Endorsements 218 Retention of documentation and working papers RELATIONS WITH OTHER MEMBERS OR FIRMS AND WITH NON- MEMBERS LICENSED TO PRACTISE PUBLIC ACCOUNTING 302 Communication with predecessor 303 Co-operation with successor 304 Joint engagements 305 Communication of special engagements to incumbent Responsibilities on accepting engagements Responsibilities on referred engagements ORGANIZATION AND CONDUCT OF A PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE 401 Practice names 402 Use of descriptive styles 403 Association with firms 404 Operation of members offices 405 Office by representation 406 Member responsible for a non-member in practice of public accounting 407 Related business or practice, and member responsible for nonmember in such business or practice 408 Association of member with non-members in public practice 409 Practice of public accounting in corporate form RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT APPLICABLE ONLY TO FIRMS 501 Firm s maintenance of policies and procedures for compliance with professional standards 502 Firm s maintenance of policies and procedures: competence and conduct of firm members 503 Association with firms SUMMARY OF EYK LO Describe the codes of ethics and professional conduct for accountants. Each of the three professional accounting bodies in Canada has a code of professional conduct outlining the ethical standards required of accountants. Failure to comply leads to disciplinary action. QUICK STUDY QS 1-21 Experience technology Read the article about the Rotary 4-Way Test on Connect. Explain how the article relates to the codes of ethics and professional conduct for accountants.

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