AICPA Code of Professional Conduct
Composition, Applicability and Compliance
The Code of Professional Conduct of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants consists of two sections—(1) the Principles and (2) the Rules. The Principles provide the framework for the Rules, which govern the performance of professional services by members. The Council of the American Institute of CPAs is authorized to designate bodies to promulgate technical standards under the Rules, and the Bylaws require adherence to those Rules and standards. The Code of Professional Conduct was adopted by the membership to provide guidance and rules to all members—those in public practice, industry, government and education—in the performance of their professional responsibilities. Compliance with the Code of Professional Conduct, as with all standards in an open society, depends primarily on members' understanding and voluntary actions, secondarily on reinforcement by peers and public opinion, and ultimately on disciplinary proceedings, when necessary, against members who fail to comply with the Rules.
Interpretations of Rules of Conduct consist of interpretations which have been adopted, after exposure to state societies, state boards, practice units and other interested parties, by the professional ethics division's executive committee to provide guidelines as to the scope and application of the Rules but are not intended to limit such scope or application. A member who departs from such guidelines shall have the burden of justifying such departure in any disciplinary hearing. Interpretations which existed before the adoption of the Code of Professional Conduct on January 12, 1988, will remain in effect until further action is deemed necessary by the appropriate senior technical committee. Ethics Rulings consist of formal rulings made by the professional ethics division's executive committee after exposure to state societies, state boards, practice units and other interested parties. These rulings summarize the application of Rules of Conduct and Interpretations to a particular set of factual circumstances. Members who depart from such rulings in similar circumstances will be requested to justify such departures. Ethics Rulings which existed before the adoption of the Code of Professional Conduct on January 12, 1988, will remain in effect until further action is deemed necessary by the appropriate senior technical committee. Publication of an Interpretation or Ethics Ruling in The Journal of Accountancy constitutes notice to members. Hence, the effective date of the pronouncement is the last day of the month in which the pronouncement is published in The Journal of Accountancy. The professional ethics division will take into consideration the time that would have been reasonable for the member to comply with the pronouncement. A member should also consult, if applicable, the ethical standards of his or her state CPA society, state board of accountancy, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and any other governmental agency which may regulate his or her client's business or use his or her report to evaluate the client's compliance with applicable laws and related regulations. Section 50 - Principles of Professional Conduct
Section 51 - Preamble
Section 52 - Article I: Responsibilities
Section 53 - Article II: The Public Interest
Section 54 - Article III: Integrity
Section 55 - Article IV: Objectivity and Independence
Section 56 - Article V: Due Care
Section 57 - Article VI: Scope and Nature of Services
ET Section 51 - Preamble
.01 Membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is voluntary. By accepting membership, a certified public accountant assumes an obligation of self-discipline above and beyond the requirements of laws and regulations. .02 These Principles of the Code of Professional Conduct of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants...
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