New York (Aug. 20, 2003) -- The American Institute of CPAs is asking its members to vote on two proposals to enhance its ethics enforcement process.

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 ability 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 members aren’t disclosed other than to specific government agencies that have referred matters to the institute’s 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.”

Ballots were mailed to the AICPA’s 340,000 members this week. Ballots, which are also available online at www.aicpa.org/enforcement, must be returned by Oct. 18.

-- WebCPA staff

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