AICPA Code of Conduct Violations Found En Masse in The Accountant


What’s better than an October busy season? Taking a whole bunch of CPAs, accountants and a handful of friends of accountants to watch the debut of the latest film covering the profession: “The Accountant.”

We rented out a theatre, filled it with professionals, then asked them to give us their rating and answer a few questions about the movie. Given the depth of training in form completion, coupled with hundreds of years of combined accounting industry experience, we obtained a relevant set of ratings and opinions about the movie that are summarized below.

Note: Moviegoers were given access to alcohol before and during the film, which may have influenced their ratings.

Partner Insights

Overall rating by those working in the accounting profession: 8.3 out of 10

IMDB rating at press time: 7.8

Favorite Character
Christian Wolff (The Accountant): 67%
Dana Cummings (The Other Accountant): 17%
Mentions for the FedEx Guy, Braxton and the Martial Arts Teacher

Representation of Accounting Profession Materially Correct?
Yes: 76%
No: 24%

Open to interpretation is whether respondents were referring to The Accountant’s behavior in analyzing data, use of weaponry, or adherence to a strong moral code.

Representation of Client Behavior Materially Correct?
Yes: 87%
No: 13%

Anyone ready to revamp their client acceptance procedures?

Estimated Number of AICPA Code of Conduct Violations
These varied widely among respondents:

Zero: 8%
1 - 6: 19%
10 - 25: 14%
26 - 9001: 13%
?: 19%

Found the question too funny to answer and responded with “lol” or “hee hee”: 8%

Best write-in response: “all of them”

Should we be concerned about the size of the standard deviation on this data? Including all respondents to this question the standard deviation sits at 2,395. Remove the 9,001 outlier and we’re still at 253! Is our ethics CPE requirement meeting the mark? Feel free to include your thoughts on this matter in the comments field below. And then, if you haven’t already, go see the flick and let us know your count. You can send in your review here:

Kristen Rampe is a CPA who provides strategy, direction, and leadership development workshops on communication, team-building, and client service. You can find more ways to improve your practice at or reach her at

Comments (8)
Lets face facts, We are just very dangerous people. Don't mess with the C.P.A.!
Posted by | Thursday, October 20 2016 at 6:49PM ET
Touche, CliffCherry!
Posted by Kristen Rampe | Thursday, October 20 2016 at 2:02PM ET
Think it was actually ZZZZ Best so maybe taking off a Z allows for the disclaimer "any purely coincidental"?
Posted by CliffCherry | Thursday, October 20 2016 at 1:45PM ET
Thanks, Greg! I'll send you a personal invite to the sequel :-)
Posted by Kristen Rampe | Thursday, October 20 2016 at 11:27AM ET
Fun post, Kristen! Wish I was at your screening!
Posted by gregkyte | Thursday, October 20 2016 at 11:23AM ET
I'm with you BYRDJH, there was definitely a ZZZ Best reference going on there!
Posted by Kristen Rampe | Thursday, October 20 2016 at 10:20AM ET
Fiction imitates life?
Posted by John_CPA | Thursday, October 20 2016 at 8:37AM ET
Thought the name of ZZZ Accounting was a subtle irony to zzz best and Barry Minkow.
Posted by BYRDJH | Thursday, October 20 2016 at 8:25AM ET
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