Florida CPA Ethics Requirements
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fourth-highest level of employment for accountants and auditors as of May 2020? Add to this the state’s consistent ranking as one of the best states for business, and it won’t be difficult to understand why the state experiences huge popularity among CPAs.
Like any other state, you must fulfill the CPE requirements of the Florida Board of Accountancy within a fixed period of time to keep your CPA license active. However, in Florida, CPE requirements are slightly different than those of many other states.
Being one of the leading CPE sponsors, we frequently receive many different queries from CPAs regarding Florida CPA ethics requirements. In this handbook, we’ve jotted down the answers to some handpicked questions so that you won’t have to spend your valuable time reading multiple posts to obtain the information.
Please Note: These courses are approved by the Florida Board of Accountancy.
The Florida Board of Accountancy follows a biennial renewal period, meaning you need to renew your CPA license every two years and earn a total of 80 CPE credits during this period. You must earn 4 credits in Florida CPA ethics as part of these credits.
Here’re three important things you need to keep in mind when pursuing Florida CPA ethics courses.
· The course needs to be approved by the Florida Board
· It must cover a review of chapters 455 and 473 of Florida Statutes and associated administrative rules
· If you use two modules to earn 4 credits, you must earn these credits from a single provider
It’s important to note that if you fail to meet Florida CPA ethics requirements and other Florida CPE requirements by 30th June (in the license renewal year), the board will automatically grant an extension until 15th September. However, in that case, you’ll need to earn 8 additional credits in accounting and auditing subjects.
You may also get an extension until 31st December, but then you’ll be required to earn 16 additional credits in accounting and auditing subjects.
Here’re some vital things to remember in terms of CPE reciprocity.
· As a nonresident licensee, you can renew your license in Florida provided you’ve fulfilled the CPE requirements in the last reporting period that you’ve completed in the state where your office is located.
· If your state doesn’t have CPE requirements, you must fulfill the CPE requirements of the Florida Board.
· You must meet Florida CPA ethics requirements like any other active CPA in the state. It means whether you take in-person or online Florida CPA ethics courses, they’ve to be QAS-approved (in case of self-study courses), Florida Board-approved, and taken from a single sponsor (if you earn the credits using two modules).
Whether you pursue Florida CPA ethics online or offline, the course(s) will help you learn the following key things:
· Evaluating factors that trigger unethical behavior
· Applying Florida’s legal and ethical requirements
· Judging compliance with the rules pertaining to objectivity, integrity, commissions, and particular fees
· Assessing whether the rules regarding confidentiality and client records and responsibilities under the common standards have been fulfilled
· Assessing the impacts of disciplinary guidelines
· Evaluating compliance with peer-review standards
· Applying definitions in the Florida Board of Accountancy’s rules
CPAs play a crucial role in the economy and society as a whole. They need to be able to suggest effective methods to increase revenue, lower costs, and mitigate risks. However, the quality and the reputation of the accounting profession depend on the quality of services of accountants.
Programs on CPA ethics for Florida are designed to ensure the consistency and quality of accountants’ services. Here, we’ve outlined the key reasons why you must pay full attention to meeting your Florida CPA ethics requirements.
· Ethics is a fundamental part of the accounting profession
As a CPA, you need to make unbiased, neutral decisions that can help your clients. You shouldn’t make any decision that may result in misinterpretation of information and bias for the client as well. As suggested by the ethical guidelines, the information you provide needs to be free of any external influence.
· Maintaining confidentiality of information is vital
Accountants must not disclose any financial information of their clients to a third party as it’ll violate the ethical guidelines. They should only disclose the information when there’s a legal reason behind it.
· The integrity of the employees needs to be maintained
By taking Florida CPA ethics courses, you’ll be able to demonstrate honesty and integrity in your work with clients and fellow accountants in your organization. You’ll also learn that you shouldn’t associate yourself with any information that may be damaging to your company or clients.
· You need to remain up-to-date
With the accounting industry evolving continuously, the role of CPAs is also changing. If you don’t have a solid knowledge of the latest ethical rules and regulations, it’ll simply be impossible to provide the right judgment on issues that your clients face.
By fulfilling your Florida CPA ethics requirements, you’ll also understand that you shouldn’t offer professional services in areas you aren’t familiar with or in areas in which you don’t have enough expertise and skills required to provide an accurate judgment.
· Maintaining the reputation of the organization
According to the ethical guidelines, CPAs need to comply with all the rules and regulations established by the governing bodies of the accounting profession. This helps an organization, which an accountant is working for, maintain professionalism and ensure that all financial statements are an accurate and fair representation of its financial position.
Failure to adhere to the ethical guidelines can negatively impact the organization’s reputation and may even lead it to face legal troubles. As the financial advisor of the company, you may also need to experience legal hazards.
· Providing accurate information to the tax authorities is important
Every organization has a legal obligation to provide accurate financial information when it comes to making tax payments. Some companies may influence their accountants to supply inaccurate information to the tax authorities to lower their tax burden. Ethical guidelines help to ensure that accountants always provide accurate financial information when filing taxes for their clients, and hence, help them avoid committing perjury.
· Accurate financial planning
The stakeholders in an organization need to have a clear picture of its financial position to do appropriate financial planning. It’s the responsibility of accountants to supply accurate information to help stakeholders achieve their goals. Failure to do this may result in higher costs and missed opportunities for the company.
Ethical rules and regulations help accountants ensure that there’s no misrepresentation of information or numbers provided to the stakeholders. The process of decision-making doesn’t always involve only a “yes” or “no.” Instead, there’s often an area of doubt that accountants can efficiently handle by applying ethical guidelines.
Apart from the Florida CPA ethics rules and regulations specific to Florida, most programs on CPA ethics for Florida also include a brief overview of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.Here’re the key principles of the code you’ll learn by taking these courses.
· Objectivity and independence
This principle requires accountants to be honest, impartial, and perform activities that help them remain free of conflicts of interest.
This requires CPAs to exercise careful ethical and professional judgment when offering professional services.
Accountants need to carry out their professional responsibilities, maintaining a high level of integrity. Integrity is one of the key factors that help to maintain public trust.
· Public interest
According to this principle, all the actions taken by accountants need to serve the public interest. In accounting, the public refers to employers, investors, clients, creditors, government entities, and so on.
· Due care
Accountants always need to be updated on the technical and ethical standards of the accounting profession. They should continuously improve the quality of their services and their own competence by continuing professional education or CPE.
If you search online using a key phrase like “online Florida CPA ethics courses,” you’ll get a significant number of results with varying details. All of these courses cover the topics required to meet the takers’ Florida CPA ethics requirements.
To help you save time and effort, we handpicked Florida-specific ethics courses offered by six leading CPE providers. As ethics courses tend to be significantly more expensive than many other CPE courses, we mainly focused on the cost and associated factors that may help to reduce it.
As all these courses are NASBA-approved and QAS-approved and let you earn the four credits required to meet your requirements, you can confidently choose one from them.
Priced at $39.95, MasterCPE offers this course with a 90-day full money-back guarantee. While the sponsor offers a subscription package at a low price, it doesn’t include ethics courses.
Surgent offers the Florida CPA ethics course in two formats: textbook format ($80) and downloadable PDF format ($65). You can also get this course as part of its unlimited CPE packages that range from $499 to $899.
· CPA Self Study
This course is available at $39.99 in self-study downloadable format. You can also get it as part of the sponsor’s 1-year unlimited CPE subscription package that costs $149. Just remember that CPA Self Study has a smaller course catalog (containing over 130 courses) than other sponsors mentioned here. Therefore, you may not be able to fulfill your entire Florida CPE requirements from it.
You can buy this course at $40 in a downloadable PDF version. While AccountingTools offers several CPE value packs, they don’t’ include ethics courses so, you won’t be able to get the course on CPA ethics for Florida at a lower price.
Gleim offers the online Florida CPA ethics course as part of its online CPE packages. While the packages range from $12 (1-hour) to $600 (100-hour), you’ll need to buy the 4-hour package ($48) as a minimum to meet your Florida CPA ethics requirement.
At CPEThink.com, we offer two Florida CPA ethics courses, each priced at $39.95. There’re two key things that set us apart from all other providers mentioned here.
First, you can access both these courses using any of our subscription packages that range from $69.95 (20 credits maximum) to $299.95 (2-year duration with unlimited credits). Depending on your requirements, you can choose a package to meet your Florida CPE requirements.
Second, we offer industry’s best 100-day, full money-back guarantee. To get a full refund, you only need to contact us within 100 days from the date of purchasing the course.
When you’re looking to pursue Florida CPA ethics online, you typically have three options to choose from: self-study Florida CPA ethics courses, webinars, and virtual seminars/conferences.
Here’re the snapshots of the key features of each of these options to help make up your mind.
· Self-study courses
Typically the least expensive option for meeting your Florida CPA ethics requirement, self-study courses are designed to provide the takers with unmatched convenience and flexibility. You only need to complete the study materials and clear the final exam on time with the required passing score to earn the credits.
Ideal for CPAs who prefer a virtual classroom setting to learn the topics, webinars tend to be more expensive than self-study courses. To get the credits, you need to be present for a specific duration and prove your active participation.
· Virtual seminars/conferences
While attending a virtual seminar/conference is the most expensive option for meeting your requirements, you’ll also get the opportunity to expand your professional network by interacting with fellow attendees.
As you can see, Florida CPA ethics plays a fundamental role in helping you excel in your position and maintaining the reputation of the accounting profession. We hope this handbook has been helpful in providing you with all the essential information about meeting your Florida CPA ethics requirement. If you want to learn more about our Florida CPA ethics courses, feel free to contact us.
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