As in any profession, ethics are extremely important, however in accounting they are of particular importance because clients depend and rely upon accountants for their professional expertise in areas such as financial statements, tax preparation, auditing, financial consulting and so forth. Without ethics and the laws that guide ethical practices and behavior, accountants could easily misguide clients or put a company's stakeholders at risk for their own selfish needs. Criminal behavior such as in the case of Enron and Arthur Anderson would be all too common as greedy managers and unscrupulous accountants cover up their financial impropriety.
The Board of Accountancy for the State of Arizona, along with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, governs the accounting profession in Arizona with specific ethics codes, rules, and laws. According to the Arizona State Board of Accountancy website, http://www.accountancy.state.az.us/aboutus.asp, "The Arizona State Board of Accountancy provides input into the legislative process, proposes and implements, where needed and authorized, changes in local and national accountancy regulations.
It promotes improvements in procedures and standards and is involved in referendums and industry changes as a source of information, advice and community leadership.... The primary responsibility of the Arizona State Board of Accountancy is to protect the public's economic welfare by establishing and enforcing standards of qualification and accounting practice of person certified as Certified Public Accountants or Public Accountants and accounting firms registered by the Board."
Under sect; 32-749, a certified public accountant or public accountant practicing in Arizona is required to keep client information confidential, with several exceptions:
1) Information connected to the criminal or bankruptcy laws of Arizona or the United States.
2) A subpoena issued in Arizona or an Arizona state agency where the use of the information is connected with an investigation, public hearing or other proceeding.