For the accounting field, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) maintains and enforces a code of professional conduct for public accountants. By adhering to the code, accounting professionals assume an obligation of "self-discipline above and beyond the requirements of laws and regulations" (AICPA, 2006, para. 8). The duties placed on accounting professionals by the code of ethics require "professional competence, confidentiality, integrity, and objectivity" (Bookrags, 2006, para. 4). Accounting professionals should only accept responsibilities that they can accomplish proficiently. They must complete their tasks carefully, confidentially, with ample precision and without bias.
AICPA Code of Professional Ethics
The AICPA's Code of Professional Ethics is broken down into sections: principles; rules; independence, integrity, and objectivity; standards; and responsibilities. The principles of professional conduct use articles to establish major requirements for professional accountants in different areas of their day-to-day business activities. The articles are responsibilities, public interest, integrity, objectivity and independence, due care, and scope and nature of services.
The responsibility article states that accounting professionals must use receptive, proficient, and ethical judgments in all activities. The public interest article states that accountants must serve the public interest with commitment and trustworthiness. The integrity article asserts that integrity broadens confidence. The objectivity and independence article serves to avoid conflict of interest and bias. The due care article instructs accounting professionals to perform technically and ably while striving to improve. Lastly, the scope and nature of services article tells accountants to use the code of professional conduct as a guide for which jobs to accept (AICPA, 2006).
The next section of the code of professional ethics is the rules: applicability and definition. This section allows for who is responsible for following the code of ethics. All members of the AICPA are required to follow the guidelines set by the board. All...