Ethics and Professional Conduct for California CPAs

4 Credits: Regulatory Ethics


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Ethics and Professional Conduct for California CPAs

Course Level
CPE Credits

4 Credits: Regulatory Ethics

Course Description

In the complex world of accounting, CPAs in California face the persistent challenge of navigating through ethical dilemmas and stringent state regulations. This four-hour ethics CPE course addresses the critical need for ethical proficiency, providing an in-depth exploration of ethical thought tailored to the CPA profession. The course delves into the nuances of moral values versus professional ethics, ensuring a clear understanding of these concepts and their application in real-world scenarios.

Moreover, the curriculum covers the essential ethical requirements for new licensees and continuing professional education, equipping participants with the knowledge to comply confidently with state regulations. The self study CPE course emphasizes the AICPA’s conceptual framework, teaching CPAs how to evaluate and address ethical threats effectively. It also provides an exhaustive review of the standards and rules of professional conduct as defined by the California Accountancy Act and the California Board of Accountancy. This CPE course is not just an educational experience but a practical toolkit, empowering CPAs to navigate ethical challenges and maintain the highest standards of professional integrity.

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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
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Course Specifics

Course ID
Revision Date
August 28, 2023

There are no prerequisites.

Advanced Preparation


Number of Pages

Compliance Information

NASBA Provider Number: 103220

CFP Notice: Not all courses that qualify for CFP® credit are registered by Western CPE. If a course does not have a CFP registration number in the compliance section, the continuing education will need to be individually reported with the CFP Board. For more information on the reporting process, required documentation, processing fee, etc., contact the CFP Board. CFP Professionals must take each course in it’s entirety, the CFP Board DOES NOT accept partial credits for courses.

Meet The Experts

Patricia McCarthy Headshot

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 …

Joseph Helstrom Headshot

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 …