AICPA Code Of Professional Conduct

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With every business activity come opportunities for fraudulent behavior which leads to a greater demand for auditors with unscathed ethics. Nowadays, auditors are faced with a multitude of ethical issues, and it is even more problematic when the auditors fail to adhere to the standards of professional conducts as prescribed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The objective of this paper is to analyze the auditors’ compliance with the code of professional conduct in the way it relates to the effectiveness of their audits.
The law requires auditors to report any fraudulent activities discovered during the course of an audit to the SEC. This is when Article I of Section 51 of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct comes into play. The auditor may uncover illegal acts or fraud while auditing the financial statements of a company. In such instances, the auditor must determine his or her responsibilities in making the right judgment and report their discovery or suspicions of the said fraudulent activities. Tyco International is an example of the auditors’ failure to uphold their responsibilities. Tyco’s former CEO Dennis Kozlowski and ex-CFO Mark Swartz sold stocks without investors’ approval and misrepresented the company’s financial position to investors to increase its stock prices (Crawford, 2005). The auditors (PricewaterhouseCoopers) helped cover the executives’ acts by not revealing their findings to the authorities as it is believed they must have known about the fraud taking place. Another example would be the Olympus scandal. The Japanese company, which manufactures cameras and medical equipment, used venture capital funds to cover up their losses (Aubin & Uranaka, 2011). Allegedly, thei...

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...tial information not pertinent to their work and use such information to their advantage.
American Express Tax & Business Services, a subsidiary of the American Express Corporation acquired CPA practices all over the United States. This practice by a non-CPA firm can encourage its employees not to serve the public interest as the firm is not subjected to as many regulations as a CPA firm would be. A financial firm providing accounting services poses a conflict of interest for its CPA employees. For example, the CPA provides accounting services along with financial services like insurance sales. The CPA would be endorsing the insurance products of the company which can affect the CPA’s objectivity with respect to the product being offered to third-parties (Ponemon, 1996). The scope and nature of the services performed influence the accountant to great lengths.
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