Illinois CPA Society Wins Legislative Victory for CPAs and Public

A new law promoted by the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS) will alter the state's Public Accounting Act with tougher ethics requirements and disciplinary enforcement.

The accounting scandals of the past two years prompted the Society to take a long hard look at the profession. While the majority of the members have upheld the highest ethical and professional standards, the Society felt it was important to take a proactive action to address areas of potential concern for the public, especially when it comes to possible corporate and financial misconduct.

On Friday, the Illinois CPA Society actively promoted legislation that would establish enhanced ethics requirements and disciplinary enforcement without hindering CPAs' ability to effectively practice as trusted business advisors to thousands of businesses across Illinois.

Elaine Weiss, president and CEO of the Illinois CPA Society said, "we worked closely with the Governor and the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation to ensure this bill, which also enjoyed the support of the House Speaker and the Attorney General, better protects the public and further strengthens public trust." She further stated, "the Illinois CPA Society is proud to stand on the side of meaningful reform in the name of the CPAs in Illinois who have always remained dedicated to the highest standards of the accounting profession."

Key elements of the bill are:

  • Beginning in 2005, anyone who wishes to become a CPA will have to pass a separate examination in professional ethics before being awarded a CPA certificate.

  • This focuses the attention of the new CPAs on the importance of ethics and the Ethics Code of our profession.

  • All licensed CPAs will be required to take a minimum of 4 hours of continuing education in professional ethics every three years.

You may view the bill for further details.