Term Paper: California's Accounting Code of Ethics

Pages: 4 (1051 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Accounting  ·  Buy for $19.77

California's Accounting Code Of Ethics

Ethics has always been an important part of business transactions. Freedoms of information, stricter government regulations and electronic media have made ethics even more essential to business practices. California's code of business ethics expects the accountants and accounting related professionals to be ethical with their clients as well as the accounting system.

In order to perform their work independently and deal with client-accountant relationship Californian system protects accountant-client privilege similar to that of a lawyer-client relationship with a few exceptions.

The accountants have to carryout their work in a professional manner. Code violations such as fraud, misrepresentation, and negligence could make the client liable to civil or criminal liabilities.


Ethics for accounting professionals can be described as practice of the profession with integrity and objectivity, honesty, and according to the best accounting practices. The client satisfaction is only one part of the equation, but if this satisfaction is built by conceding to all legal and illegal wishes of the client, then this lack of ethic will not create a healthy respect for the accounting professional either in the public eye or that of the client.

The recent financial scandals like ENRON, WorldCom, Global Crossing and others brought a considerable drop in general public esteem for the accounting profession. [Schreiber, 2003] shows his concern regarding the abuses of ethics, writing for California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CPA) he insists that the enforcement and education be used till the few professionals involved in unethical practices learn to maintain the standards of the profession.

All professional accounting bodies have made ethics as an essential part of the accountants training. California Board of Accountancy requires all professionals to take a course in 'Professional Conduct & Ethics'. It is necessary to know the importance of retention of records, significance of confidentiality of client information, ethics of commissions and referral fees and of course the importance of protecting oneself against the violation of ethics and its penalties.

The reality is that most accountants, even those involved in unethical practices know what counts as unethical. It is his judgment regarding whether to please the client by unscrupulous practices or follow the acceptable practices to meet ethical, legal and regulatory bodies' requirements. [Schreiber, 2003] quotes an accounting Professor Mary Beth as saying "The regulatory bodies expect the accounting professionals to 'act in good faith', the tax practitioner must use integrity and objectivity to assess the probability that the IRS (or tax court) would agree with the tax treatment being contemplated if they knew all the facts and circumstances." The accountant has reasonable degree of freedom to satisfy his client as well as the regulatory bodies while marinating his integrity and professional interests.

Accountant-Client Privilege

An important aspect of handling accounting requirements is to have complete trust of the client regarding the information given to the accountant. If the client knows that the information he provides to the accountant is protected and will not be used against him, he/she is more likely to part with the information and help the accountant to do his job. The Californian courts have ruled that if the accountant has been hired… [END OF PREVIEW]

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California's Accounting Code of Ethics.  (2005, October 29).  Retrieved November 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/california-accounting-code-ethics-always/335789

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"California's Accounting Code of Ethics."  Essaytown.com.  October 29, 2005.  Accessed November 18, 2019.