1. Directing clients into mutual funds that the firm already own in order to keep your own in order to keep your own personal investments afloat. Some of his people had been recommending a group of mutual funds that Trawlers had been auditing.
2. The decision for Gerard’s superior that all CPA’s would take exams to become registered investment advisors. The idea is good for the company to maximize their labor and good for client where the accountants know the personal needs. The ethical issues arise when the accountants are directing their client funds into funds already owned by the firm. This would appear the accountants are not acting in the best interest of their client. Another issue is the accountants recommending a group of mutual funds that they are auditing. Thus this is an ethical and GAAP issue. Gerard also has a business issue with CENA Mutual Funds complaining of Gerards firm directing business away from one of his clients. 3. Accounting firms may go into financial markets dependent on how they are structured and who they are servicing, Full disclosure on the accounting and financial sides of the business should be provided to their clients. 4. The groups influencing Gerard foremost would be his supervisor. Gerard would then have to contend with the self-ruling accounting professionals such as GAAP and financial regulatory agencies. I think many firms offer financial services. My wife worked at one but do not recall any issues because recommendations were not made to any of the firms owned funds. They did not have any.