Ethics and Professional Conduct for California CPAs

CPE Credits
NASBA Category
Regulatory Ethics

There are no prerequisites.



Course Description

This course is designed to meet the four-hour ethics CPE requirement for California CPAs. It provides an overview of ethical thought, covering the core values of the CPA profession and the application of these values to ethical reasoning. Covered in detail are applicable rules and statutes promulgated by the California Board of Accountancy, the California Accountancy Act, and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. Case studies are utilized throughout the course to highlight important issues.


Patricia McCarthy, MBA

Patricia McCarthy, MBA, is a partner at CFO Resources LLC, a company focused on training and courseware for CPAs. Her focus is on Microsoft products, particularly Excel, and how to use these programs effectively in business. She’s also certified as an MOS expert in Excel. Patricia has been in software training for over 20 years, and her client list includes the Indiana CPA Society, which awarded her its Outstanding Discussion Leader award. She has been a contributor to the Journal of Accountancy and has published articles in several CPA society magazines, including societies in Indiana, Missouri, Texas, and Arizona. Patricia is a …

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Joseph Helstrom, CPA

Joseph Helstrom, CPA, is a partner at CFO Resources, LLC, a company focused on training and courseware for CPAs. He’s also the owner of Mill Creek Publishing LLC. Joe has over 30 years of experience as a CPA in both public accounting and industry, with extensive experience in financial reporting and analysis, treasury, tax, information technology, legal and regulatory matters, and strategic planning. After graduation from Butler University with a degree in accounting, Joe got his start at Ernst & Young. Subsequent to that, he has served for several different companies as a chief financial officer; director of treasury and …

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Course Specifics

Course ID
Revision Date
April 10, 2020
Advanced Preparation


Compliance Information

NASBA Provider Number: 103220
CTEC Provider Number: 2071
CTEC Course Number: 2071-CE-1435
CTEC Ethics Credits: 4

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Define ethics from an overall and professional perspective, noting the differences between morals and ethics
  • Note the ethical requirements in California pertaining to new licensees and CPE
  • Recognize the components and ethical thought process of the AICPA conceptual framework that that assists the CPA in evaluating threats in ethical issues and identifying possible safeguards to these threats

Chapter 2

  • Recognize the standards of professional conduct contained in Article 3.5 of the California Accountancy Act
  • Recognize the rules of professional conduct as contained in Article 9 of the California Board of Accountancy Regulations

Chapter 3

  • Recognize the ethical standards contained in the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct
  • Specify the action a CPA must take when there is a possible conflict of interest
  • Identify situations where a CPA’s independence may or may not be impaired and what is considered an act discreditable
  • Identify threats and safeguards that are applicable to CPAs in public practice and in business