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Accounting Code of Ethics

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New York State Accounting Code of Ethics

Contemporary Business Law 1

Monica G. Bradshaw

June 1, 2004

New York State Accounting Code of Ethics

Introduction

The accounting system is constantly changing. During these changes, it is important for accountants to adhere to the high ethical standards that they have always lived by. Adhering to the high ethical standards is an accountant?s obligation to the public, the profession, and themselves. An accountant?s ethical conduct usually lies within four different areas. This includes competence, confidentiality, integrity, and objectivity. NYSSCPA.ORG states, ?Members also have a continuing responsibility to cooperate with each other to improve the art of accounting, maintain the public?s confidence, and carry out the professions special responsibilities for self-governance,? (Article 1).

New York State expects its accountants to act in a way that will serve the public interest. The public includes clients, credit grantors, governments, employers, investors, the business and financial community, and any other person that relies on the information provided by the accountant. It is the accountant?s responsibility to maintain an appropriate level of professional competence through continuing education of their knowledge and skills. New York State also expects its accountants to perform their duties in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, as well as providing clear and complete reports.

It is important for accountants to maintain their integrity. Often times, accountants are faced with situations that are questionable. It is important for the accountant to avoid situations of apparent conflicts of interest and to advise other public interests of these conflicts. Accountants should refuse gifts and favors

that would appear to influence their actions and should refrain from any activities that would prejudice their ability to perform their duties ethically. NYSSCPA.ORG states, ?Integrity requires a member to be, among other things, honest and candid within the constraints of client confidentiality,? (Article 3). Accountants must be willing to recognize and communicate professional limitations that would preclude successful performance of their activities. They are expected to communicate unfavorable as well as favorable information.

Client Confidentiality

Client confidentiality is very important in the accounting profession. New York State requires that accountants do not share any client information without the specific consent of the client. However, under certain circumstances, the State finds it necessary that an accountant might have to share client information. Examples of these circumstances include an accountant?s receipt of a subpoena or summons or an accountants participation in actual or threatened legal proceedings or alternative dispute resolution proceedings (NYSSCPA.ORG, ET section 301).

Accounting Work Product

New York State requires its accountants to adequately maintain its work papers in accordance with specific requirements. Work papers include the accountant?s records of the procedures applied, tests

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