Week 10: Professional Ethics

For this week, I looked into the Code of Professional Conduct published by the AICPA to learn about ethics in the accounting profession. A very important concept in the foundation of this code is that the profession has a responsibility to the public and its clients. When performing their duties, they need to act with professionalism and moral judgements. It is so important that they do their job with care because they are performing for the public and all external users. This means they need to keep the public’s confidence in their work and integrity. This requires accountants to maintain the confidentiality of client information, remain independent, and act with due care. The code goes into much more depth on specific situations and aspects but what I have covered is the basic foundation of public accounting ethics. There wasn’t anything in the code that I was surprised about since most accounting classes at least briefly touch on ethics. For instance, auditing courses has taught me a great deal of ethics. Because accounting is such a formal profession and there has been many incidences in the past when unethical accounting has been brought to the public’s attention, the ethics for accounting have been sculpted in detail to ensure that everyone maintains the integrity and value of the work. Each individual accounting firm has their culture of ethics, and it resonates with the employees of that firm. That is why it is extremely for those in higher up positions to act with integrity so others will follow.