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Red Flags & the Inquisitive Accountant/Accountants' Non-Disclosure: Recent Cases & Controversies

  • 08/20/2022
  • 8:00 AM - 4:13 PM
  • Webinar-ACPEN



Although “inquisitiveness” is not explicitly required by the AICPA and MICPA Code of Professional Conduct, generally accepted auditing standards require a certain level of follow-up when "red flags" appear ... especially during an attestation engagement. The principles of integrity, honesty, and objectivity articulated in the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct imply a certain level of curiosity, truth-seeking and inquisitiveness, but these ideals are often difficult to achieve when accountants are under the real pressures of time, budget and deadlines. This seminar considers these difficult accounting and ethics issues. Participants discuss actual court cases as they sort through these issues together.

Accounting is an art. It involves the abstraction and communication of information. The value of accounting information, in turn, is often discussed in terms of the extent of disclosure and transparency. All well and good, it seems, until someone decides that a particular set of financial statements is erroneous to the point of being misleading or deceptive. This seminar offers an overview of the theoretical notion of disclosure, followed by a discussion of recent cases and controversies where financial statements (and the accountants associated with them) and challenged in court. Theory tends to clash with practice in these cases. Participants are invited to sort out what is proper disclosure and what is not.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will gain new insights into Inquisitiveness, especially as that virtue interacts with the realities of corporate and accounting firm budgets and profitability requirements. Practical applications will include real-life ethical dilemmas where the level of an accountant's inquisitiveness is challenged.
  • Participants will gain new insights into the notion of disclosure as an idea and as a financial reporting principle. Practical applications will include the analysis of disclosure-related controversies where accountants in industry and in public accounting are challenged. Legal and licensure implications are also addressed.

    Key Topics:

    • Curiosity, Truth-seeking, and Inquisitiveness
    • “Required” Inquisitiveness in Attestation Engagements
    • Inquisitiveness and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct
    • Recent Cases and Controversies
    • Accounting as Disclosure: Theory and Societal Significance
    • Basic Disclosure Accounting and Ethics Rules
    • Efforts to Increase Relevance in Financial Reporting
                                                                                                      Designed for: Professionals who are interested in stepping outside of the narrow confines of the Code of Professional Conduct and taking a fresh look at the professional duty of inquisitiveness. This ethics seminar is designed for all accounting professionals, irrespective of background, specialization, or type of organization with which they are affiliated.

                                                                                                      Professionals who are responsible for reporting or disclosure and interested in considering more than the narrow confines of AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and GAAP rules.

                                                                                                      This seminar is designed for all accounting professionals, irrespective of background, specialization, or type of organization with which they are affiliated.

                                                                                                      Level: Basic

                                                                                                      Instructor: Albert Spalding

                                                                                                      Developer: Albert Spalding, CPA, JD

                                                                                                      CPE Credits: 8

                                                                                                      Area(s) of Study: Accounting - Technical (5)  & Regulatory Ethics - Technical (3)

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                                                                                                      Grand Forks, ND 58201

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                                                                                                       (701) 775-7111
                                                                                                      or (877) 637-2727

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