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Friday, 28 December 2012

Professional judgment, Benevolence and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct

Benevolence and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct

Accepting to perform a given responsibility to the public marks a profession according to AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. AICPA has tried to enhance benevolence by playing a bigger role in the accounting profession.  Setting the auditing standards has increased the users of financial statements. It ensures clients receive quality services from the accounting professional. The code states that CPAs are to act with a mission of serving public interest, demonstrating commitment and honoring public trust. An accounting professional therefore should do well to the public with a no personal profit-making motive. Professionalism should be basic in their work. They should act to serve the public interest instead of their personal interest (AICPA section53).

Given the provision of the AICPA code of ethics, compliance to it depends on the members’ willingness to do it. The clients’ belief is that the CPAs comply with the code while offering services to them. It is therefore important for an accountant to have a will of protecting the interest of the client. Through meeting the clients’ needs is an indication of loyalty. AICPA code of ethics requires the auditor to maintain confidentiality. The client will feel protected when the accountant keeps his information confidential. The accountants on the other hand should not use the information for self or financial interests.

AICPA has sought to advance the investor education through training as well as by providing advanced methods of financial reporting. It has promoted strong corporate governance and internal control system that ensures fair information is presented to the public companies (Clikeman, 2003).

Professional judgment and AICPA code of ethics

Professional judgment is the process through which accounting professionals resolve ethics dilemmas using professional norms and standards to make ethical accounting decisions. Professional interest prevails over personal interest. The code of accounting ethics provides rules and guidance to members in which to base their operation. The rules and guidance reflect modern needs and issues of the members in the profession. Members who adhere to the code are able to make ethical decision.  American Institute of Public Accountants provides professions’ authority relative to making ethical decisions (Fatt 1995).

Ethical decision making in an individual relates to his or her ethics system, ethics application, moral reasoning perspective and the level of moral reasoning. Effective professional judgment therefore depends on these characteristics in the resolution of accounting dilemma. AICPA code of professional conduct forms the base of accounting professional judgment, which is opposed to the personal judgment. Personal judgment is based on the personal ethics. The codes establish professional norms and standards that are important in establishing public trust in the service.

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