CPAs are required to adhere to certain practice standards promulgated by court cases as well as the rules established by the applicable governing boards such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), and the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) from the licensing state board. Tax practitioners are subject to additional rules under IRS Circular 230 and the AICPA Statement on Standards of Tax Practice (SSTS). These practice standards cover situations such as the CPA’s competent and timely handling client matters, integrity, independence, confidentiality, objectivity, and the duty of reasonable care.
These practice standards are updated continually; therefore, the best method of ensuring a researcher is reviewing the most up-to-date version is to access the information from the governing organization’s websites. Please find below a selection of helpful links:
- American Institute of Certified Public Accounting (AICPA).
a. Code of Professional Conduct - http://www.aicpa.org/Research/Standards/CodeofConduct/DownloadableDocume...
b. Statement on Standards of Tax Practice - http://www.aicpa.org/RESEARCH/STANDARDS/TAX/Pages/default.aspx
- IRS Circular 230 - http://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/Circular-230-Tax-Professionals
- Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) – Auditing standards: http://pcaobus.org/Standards/Auditing/Pages/default.aspx.
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 2002. Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX): http://www.sec.gov/about/laws/soa2002.pdf.
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) - Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (DFA) - http://www.sec.gov/about/laws/wallstreetreform-cpa.pdf.
- Each licensing state’s Board of Public Accountancy has its own Rules of Professional Conduct which can be accessed through their respective websites.
DISCLAIMER: The information above is not intended to be legal or professional advice, and should not be relied upon as an assessment of your case. These links are being provided as general information and do not constitute an attorney-client or an account-client relationship.