Designed to meet the ethical requirements of the Washington State Board of Accountancy, Real-World Ethics for Washington CPAs: 2017 covers important state-specific information regarding the Washington State Board of Accountancy rules of conduct, recent board changes, and applicable provisions found in the Public Accountancy Act. In addition, you'll learn about contemporary accounting and business ethics, suggested methods for approaching ethical dilemmas, AICPA ethical pronouncements and rulings, and PCAOB guidance. This course presents various ethical theories and their practical applications, making it a useful and hands-on tool you can use to critique the various ethical decisions you face in your practice. As an added bonus, case studies illustrate how to handle real-life ethical issues and situations.
Approved by the Washington State Board of Accountancy as meeting the minimum requirements of WAC 4-30-134(6) which requires four CPE hours in the subject area of professional ethics and regulations with specific application to the practice of public accounting in Washington State. Approval date: October 7, 2016
Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Recognize the step-by-step process contained in the framework for ethical decision making and the framework for resolving an ethical dilemma
- Recognize the authority that governs a CPA's ethical behavior, the principles that guide the conceptual framework for the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, and the restructuring that occurred during the AICPA Ethics Codification project
- Identify terminology, ethical standards, and rules contained in the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, noting implementation requirements
- Recognize the application of authoritative and nonauthoritative guidance in helping the accounting professional avoid common mistakes as illustrated in the provided case studies
- Specify the guidelines and restrictions established by the Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board for registered public accounting firms auditing SEC filers
- Identify reputable sources for referencing additional ethical practice material, including the AICPA's newsletter issued by the Professional Ethics Executive Committee
- Recognize the role of the Professional Ethics Division in investigating disciplinary matters involving AICPA members and members of state societies participating in the Joint Ethics Enforcement Program
- Recognize the rules and regulations as set forth by the Washington State Board of Accountancy, identifying ethics and prohibited practices, CPA examination requirements, individual experience and verification, CPA firm organization and ownership, continuing competency, and investigations, discipline, and enforcement
- Specify provisions contained in the Public Accountancy Act
- Cite applicable observations, notes, case studies, and enforcements actions regarding the state of Washington accountancy rules and the Public Accountancy Act
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – Suggested Methods for Approaching Ethical Dilemmas
A Framework for Ethical Decision Making
Recognize an Ethical Issue
Get the Facts
Make a Decision and Test It
Act, Then Reflect on the Decision Later
Resolving an Ethical Dilemma
Step 1: Analyze the Consequences
Step 2: Analyze the Actions
Step 3: Make a Decision
Chapter 1 Review Questions
Chapter 2 – AICPA Ethical Pronouncements and Rulings and PCAOB Guidance
The AICPA Code of Professional Conduct
AICPA Ethics Codification Project
Preface: Applicable to All Members
0.100 Overview of the Code of Professional Conduct
0.200 Structure and Application of the AICPA Code
0.300 Principles of Professional Conduct
0.500 Nonauthoritative Guidance
0.600 New, Revised, and Pending Interpretations and Other Guidance
Part 1: Members in Public Practice and Part 2: Members in Business
x.100 Integrity and Objectivity
x.110 Conflicts of Interest
x.120 Gifts and Entertainment
x.130 Preparing and Reporting Information
x.300 General Standards
x.310 Compliance with Standards
x.320 Accounting Principles
x.400 Acts Discreditable
The Remainder of the Code of Professional Conduct
The PCAOB and Ethics Guidelines
Chapter 2 Review Questions
Chapter 3 – Sources of Other AICPA Ethics Guidance
AICPA’s Professional Ethics Executive Committee
AICPA Ethics Tools and Aids
Chapter 3 Review Questions
Chapter 4 – Washington State-Specific Ethics
July 29, 2016 Rules Hearing
April 19, 2016 Rules Hearing
What are the authority for and the purpose of the board's rules?
How can I contact the board?
Do I need to notify the board if I change my address?
Must I respond to inquiries from the board?
What enforcement actions must be reported to the board?
Ethics and Prohibited Practices
What are the requirements concerning integrity and objectivity?
When is independence required?
What restrictions govern commissions, referral, and contingent fees?
What are the requirements concerning competence?
Compliance is required with which rules, regulations and professional standards?
What are the requirements concerning records and clients confidential information?
What are the requirements concerning client records, including response to requests by clients and former clients for records?
What acts are considered discreditable?
What are the limitations on advertising and other forms of solicitation?
What are the limitations regarding individual and firm names?
Does the board authorize the use of any other titles or designations?
What are the quality assurance review (QAR) requirements for licensed CPA firms?
What are the program standards for CPE?
WAC 4-30-134 (Effective Jan. 1, 2014)
What are the continuing professional education (CPE) requirements for individuals?
How do I report my CPE to the board?
What documentation must I retain to support my eligibility for CPE credits?
Investigations, Discipline, and Enforcement
What are the authority, structure, and processes for investigations and sanctions?
What are the bases for the board to impose discipline?
Public Accountancy Act
Issuance of license — Requirements — Examination — Fees — Certified public accountants' account — Valid certificates previously issued under chapter — Continuing professional education — Inactive certificates.
License required — Requirements — Application — Fees.
Registration of offices — Requirements — Rules — Fees.
Licenses – Issuance – Renewal and reinstatement – Continuing professional education – Fees – Notification of sanction/suspension/revocation of license.
Actions against CPA license.
Chapter 4 Review Questions
Review Question Answers and Rationales
Appendix A – Outside Ethics Reading
Appendix B – State of Washington Contact Information Page
Appendix C – Five Cases Related to the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct
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