The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is seeking its members' approval on two proposals to enhance the ethics enforcement process. Ratification of the proposals would result in an amendment to the Institute bylaws.
The AICPA today mailed ballot packages to its more than 340,000 members. The ballots are also available on the Institute web site at www.aicpa.org/enforcement. They must be returned by October 18.
One proposal would allow the AICPA to sanction members without investigation if they have been sanctioned by governmental agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, or by other organizations that have the authority to regulate accountants, such as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
The second proposal would give the AICPA the flexibility to disclose more information about an investigation, subject to the review and approval of the Institute's Governing Council. The proposal would also allow the AICPA to disclose the results of a case to the individual or body filing a formal complaint with the Institute. Currently, remedial actions taken against AICPA members are not disclosed other than to specific government agencies that have referred matters to the Professional Ethics Executive Committee.
"These proposals would provide clear evidence to both the public and regulators that the accounting profession will not tolerate those who break the rules," said Susan Coffey, AICPA Vice President - Self Regulation. "They would both serve the public interest, which is the ultimate goal of the CPA profession, and enhance the credibility of our enforcement process."
You may access your ballot at www.aicpa.org/enforcement.