What do these former CPAs have in common?
- Enron Controller Richard Causey
- HealthSouth CFOs Aaron Beam and Weston Smith
- WorldCom Director of General Accounting Buford Yates and Director of Management Reporting Betty Vinson
- Michigan Catholic School Controller Dan Korson
- PharMor CFO Patrick Finn
They all committed unethical acts. And went to prison. New ethics rules1 effective November 30, 2011, April 30 and August 31, 2012 put CPAs at risk for actions that are now strictly prohibited. This article explores a few such activities. But, first, why do CPAs violate the Code of Professional Conduct? Here are five common reasons: 1. Lack of objectivity:
"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we want them to be."2 None of us are objective about ourselves or our work. We won't admit that our own behaviors violate the AICPA's Code of Professional Conduct.
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