The accounting profession offers several opportunities for anyone who is passionate about this particular field, either for monetary compensation or career advancement. However, passing your CPA exam is not the end point in your quest to become a full fledged accounting professional. In fact, it is only the start of a grueling career.
One area that any accounting professional should invest time to learn is in terms of the legal constraints of your job, most notably the code of ethics expected of any accounting professional. This remains a long standing concern in this field and anyone who wishes to excel professionally needs to fully understand what this code of ethics means and how it can impact the decision of those who rely on these types of professional services.
Any certified public accountant (or CPA) is expected to behave ethically in observance of their professional obligations to those whom they are providing services for. If you are a CPA, it is therefore important to know your legal obligations to the stakeholders, clients, and other parties involved with your job. The code of ethics for accountants do not differ with the ethical standards observed by other professionals in various fields. It is focused more on how the data is handled by an accountant given the nature of information they are tasked to handle.
The issue of ethics usually comes up with any kind of profession that handles something of value, such as money. Accountants, or other professionals like auditors and financial managers, experience this dilemma on a daily basis as part of their job. To prevent these professionals from carrying out inappropriate behavior, based on the standards stipulated by the organization to which the professional is a part of, all are required to read and fully understand these codes before they practice their profession. Every accounting organization might have varying stipulations when it comes to the ethical standards or codes of ethics, though.
Accountants belong to the same group of professionals who have dedicated themselves to render services to the public. Hence, even those who are seeking to obtain additional CPE credits or continuing professionals are always reminded about the professional code of conduct. Most training courses on becoming a CPA therefore delves deep into the ethical dilemmas that these professionals might face, such as providing services that will solve a customer’s problem and providing value to the customer’s business through their service.
Any aspiring professional within the accounting field should therefore strive to live by these codes of professional conduct and standards of performance, if one were to avoid legal suits. In a way, organizations and accounting firms are reiterating this amongst their auditors and accountants to protect the overall integrity of the firm itself.
Without this code of ethics from which accounting professionals live by, it can be difficult for clients to build trust on these service providers in terms of ensuring confidentiality of their financial information. Acquiring knowledge and skills required to becoming a certified public accountant is therefore not enough. You must also learn to conduct yourself in the highest level of professionalism and ethics to avoid legal troubles while doing your job.
By Grant Webb with Bisk Education. Bisk Education trains both accounting students and accounting professionals to perform in a multitude of legal capacities and has been the most trusted name in Accounting Education since 1971.