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Flashcards in Professional Responsibilities Deck (27)
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What engagements are covered by the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct?

Covers all professional engagements and is the minimum standard of conduct

Member should additionally follow specific standards for a specific engagement


What must an accountant have under the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct?

No Conflicts of Interest
No known misrepresentations of facts
No outsourcing of judgment


What are threats and safeguards to independence?

Safeguards > Threats = Independence

Threats > Safeguards = No Independence


What are the threats to independence?

Self-Review (Auditing own work)

Advocate of the Client

Adverse Interest (Lawsuit against Client)

Too familiar with Client – could impair the appearance of Independence to public

Undue influence on Client - On Board of Directors- exception being an Honorary board position


What are the Safeguards to independence?

Offset the threats

Safeguards are created by Legislation (SOX)- Client (Audit Committee)- Accounting Firm (Policies)


What are the characteristics of a Covered Member?

On the engagement team- have Significant influence on Audit- such as:

Reviewing Partner
Managing Partner in CPA Firm
Firm Personnel who does more than 10 hours of non-attest work (Income Taxes)
Partner sharing office with another Partner who oversees an engagement
Financial Interest in Client by Covered Member (Auditor on Engagement)


What are the requirements for a Covered Member?

No direct financial interest

No Material indirect financial interest

Firm personnel who are not Covered Members cannot own more than 5% of stock

Covered Member's immediate family cannot own more than 5% of stock or be employed in Key positions. If Covered member is aware of this- it will impair independence.

Cannot make management decisions.

All requirements apply during the period of the professional engagement- and as long as they are a client.


What happens when a Covered Member disagrees with a Supervisor?

If Supervisor's position is still GAAP/GAAS- defer to Supervisor

If Supervisor's position is not GAAP/GAAS- report to higher levels of management

If management ignores you- consider leaving the firm


When is independence required?



Attestation Engagement


What are the requirements for Non-attest engagements?

Agreement must be in writing.
Independence not required - Must state if you are not independent

Applicable engagements: Consulting- Compilation


Which standards apply to consulting engagements?

Consulting engagements are covered by Statements on Standards for Consulting Services (SSCS)

Requirements: Competence- Due Care- Planning- Supervision- Obtain Sufficient Data- Must Serve Client Interest- Must have written or oral agreement- must communicate with client.


List some common consulting engagements.

Advisory Services

Transaction Services

Management Consulting

Implementation Services


What is the rule concerning contingent fees for a covered member?

Not allowed if Member also performs services where independence is required

Commissions or referral fees for Covered Members are not allowed

Example – Audit firm gets a commission for recommending to Client that they implement a new A/P System...NOT Allowed

If a firm performing non-attest work doesn't also perform Covered Member services (aka – Independence not
required)- then Firm can get a commission on referring products/services- but they must disclose to the Client

Tax Preparation - Payment according to refund amount is disallowed


When are contingent fees allowed?

When fees are structured relative to judicial proceedings.

Example: IRS audit- or filing an amended tax return subject to tax case with a different taxpayer.


How should recommendations and suggestions by a covered member to a client be handled?

Client must carry them out - covered member cannot perform management functions.

Client must assign someone of competence to oversee the non-attest engagement and CPA must be satisfied that this has occurred.


What are the requirements for Personal Financial Planning Engagements?

Must have definite objectives

Must have specific procedures planned

Must have a basis for recommendations

Must have recommendations communicated

Must have action steps to implement


When is a GAAP departure appropriate?

Departure from GAAP is appropriate if GAAP would cause Financial Statements to be misleading- then it must be explained/disclosed.


When may a covered member disclose confidential information?

Member may disclose confidential info when client isn't following GAAP


If they receive a subpoena – CPAs are not Attorneys- so there is no CPA-Client privilege


What is the effect of not returning all client-provided documents upon request?

This is an act discreditable.

You MUST return all documents the client gives you even if they don't pay their bill.

If you create a document- however- like a work paper- you are not required to give the client a copy of papers you created if they haven't paid their bill

They are the firm's work papers- but are still confidential!


What are the rules with respect to CPA firm names?

CPA firm names must not be misleading.

If partner dies- remaining partner has two years to change name if partnership dissolved. If partner dies and more than one partner still remains (i.e. 1 dies and you still have 2 or more don't need to change the name)

All Partners/Shareholders must be members of the AICPA in order to hold themselves out as members of the AICPA. Non-CPAs can be owners- but 2/3 of Ownership must be CPAs. Non-CPA owner must not be involved with the accounting- and is still bound by AICPA code of conduct- must maintain CPE requirements and have Bachelor's degree.


What is the consequence of disclosing CPA exam material post-1996?

It is an Act Discreditable.


What are the consequences for a CPA who commits an Act Discreditable?

Licenses are granted at the State level
If State revokes certificate- AICPA Ban
Felony Conviction- AICPA Ban
Prepares Fraudulent Tax Return- AICPA Ban
Intentionally failing to file return- AICPA Ban
SEC can get involved with discipline


What are the functions of the PCAOB?

Monitors CPA Firms who audit SEC clients - All SEC Audit firms must register

Issues standards for firms to follow - usually stricter than AICPA standards


When is independence impaired under PCAOB standards?

If Client pays a contingent fee (i.e. based on outcome)

With Marketing or Planning engagements

Aggressive Tax Strategies

Firm does tax work for Client employee involved with audit oversight or their


Who must approve non-audit work performed by a firm for a client?

Client Audit Committee must approve non-audit work performed by Firm

Firm must disclose any potential independence issues to Audit Committee


Which organization is in charge of determining if federal funds are being misappropriated?

GAO - Government Accountability Office


What rules must auditors follow for governmental audits?

Auditors must follow both GAAS and GAS – aka the “Yellow Book”
Materiality threshold is usually lower
More detail is required on working papers
More stringent CPE rules and requirements - 24 hours of continuing education must be related to governmental auditing every 2 years
Compliance with Regulations is a requirement of the Audit Report