New York CPA Ethics: A Definitive Guide

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New York CPE Ethics

Are you about to become a licensed CPA in the State of New York? If yes, most likely, you already know that becoming a licensed CPA also indicates the beginning of lifelong learning activities in the form of CPE.

Meeting CPE requirements is a mandatory criterion for all CPAs to keep their licenses active. However, CPAs, who’re licensed in New York State, need to pay a little more attention when pursuing their CPE. This is because New York CPA ethics requirements are slightly different than many other states.

If you don’t follow the guidelines pertaining to the ethics requirements of the New York State Board for Public Accountancy, you may run the risk of wasting your time, effort, and money.

That’s why we decided to create this guide to New York ethics for CPAs. Here, we’re going to discuss all the essential things related to New York ethics CPE and share some valuable tips to help you choose the right method of earning New York CPA ethics credits.

Please Note: These courses are approved by the New York Board of Accountancy.


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Reviewing New York CPA Ethics Requirements

While New York has an annual CPE reporting period, CPAs are required to earn 4 CPE credits in professional ethics every 3 years. These 4 credits may be counted toward your annual CPE requirements in the particular year you earn them.

There’re seven continuing education subject areas in which you can pursue your CPE in New York. These include:

  • Accounting
  • Attestation
  • Auditing
  • Taxation
  • Advisory Services
  • Professional Ethics
  • Specialized Knowledge and Applications Related to Specialized Industries

New York State Board gives CPAs two options to pursue their CPE. These include:

  • Earn a minimum of 40 CPE credits in any combination of the approved subject areas
  • Earn a minimum of 24 CPE credits in one of the approved subject areas

If you choose professional ethics as one of the subject areas (40 credits) or the single subject area (24 credits) in a particular year, the credits may be counted toward your annual CPE requirements for that year.

Understanding Other Mandatory Requirements Pertaining To New York Ethics CPE

Here’re some essential things you need to keep in mind before you start pursuing New York CPA ethics.

  • To meet New York CPA ethics requirements, you must take a professional ethics course. New York doesn’t accept behavioral ethics as an alternative to professional ethics.
  • If you’re licensed in multiple jurisdictions, but New York State is your principal place of business, you’ve to take a NY State-specific ethics course.
  • If you’re licensed only in New York, you must take an NYSED-approved ethics course.
  • If New York State is your principal place of business, you must take an NYSED-approved ethics course.
  • If you’re licensed in a state other than New York, and that’s your principal place of business, you need to choose among the following sponsors to take an ethics course:
    • A New York State-registered CPE provider that’s approved to offer ethics courses.
    • A CPE provider that’s approved by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). You can check this page to see a list of NASBA-approved CPE providers.
    • A CPE provider that’s approved by the licensing authority of the particular state, which’s your principal place of business.

True Importance of New York Ethics for CPAs

As one of the major financial centers in the world, New York is home to a huge number of large corporations and businesses. This makes it even more important for New York CPAs to provide professional services in a transparent and fair manner because a greater number of businesses count on them.

Here, we’ve outlined a few reasons why ethics is a crucial part of the professional responsibilities of every CPA.

  • CPAs deal with the sensitive financial information of their clients. Therefore, they must keep things confidential while demonstrating integrity.
  • When CPAs fail to follow the principles of ethical accounting, it may trigger a series of negative ripple effects that may turn the lives of a significant number of ordinary people upside down.
  • By staying principled in their practices, CPAs can avoid any legal repercussions, which may hurt their careers.

Key Subject Areas of In-Person or Online New York CPA Ethics Courses

Whether you pursue New York CPA ethics online or in-person, the subject areas revolve around the principles mentioned in the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. You can expect to master the following fundamental ethical principles by taking New York ethics CPE courses.

  • Integrity

Accountants must follow a set of robust ethical principles when managing clients’ sensitive information without using their expertise and knowledge and the available information for personal gains. They’re also morally responsible for providing accurate and fair financial reporting with completeness.

  • Confidentiality

Accountants shouldn’t disclose their clients’ information to any third party at any cost. They should also not share any confidential information internally without having the consent of the owner of the information. However, if accountants know or feel that the information is against the public interest, they should seek guidance from a professional lawyer.

  • Independence and objectivity

While independence is a business attribute and objectivity is an individual CPA’s attribute, both are crucial ethical values that all accountants need to maintain. Independence promises no biased or impartial judgments to be made on the clients’ behalf under any circumstances, whereas objectivity defines the personal attitude to be honest and straightforward in accountants’ work.

Accountants’ professional judgment shouldn’t be driven by conflicts of interest. They shouldn’t make a judgment under someone else’s influence or based on personal gains, thereby maintaining independence and objectivity while providing their services.

  • Competence

Accountants must always stay up-to-date with the latest rules, regulations, and best practices, as well as current technology trends, by acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their duties.

In the context of ethical accounting, exercising a proper comprehension of the accounting field and providing the same with due diligence is extremely important. Accountants need to undergo proper training and take the right courses to carry out their responsibilities efficiently.

  • Professional behavior

All accountants need to commit to professional behavior by adhering to the rules, regulations, and laws of the accounting profession. Commitment to professional behavior helps to ensure that CPAs don’t negatively affect or discredit the profession.

Choosing the Right Method of Pursuing New York CPA Ethics Online

If you do a quick online search using the phrase “New York CPA ethics,” you’ll see varied search results showing different methods of pursuing New York ethics CPE. Typically, the most popular methods include self-study courses, webinars, and conferences.

Each of these methods appears with some unique features that you should know to choose the right one. In this section, we’ve jotted down the key features of each of them.

  • Self-study courses

Undoubtedly the most popular method of pursuing New York CPA ethics online, self-study courses give you the maximum flexibility among all available options. You can navigate through the course materials at your own pace from anywhere. Also, self-study courses are the most cost-effective method among these three options.

Some popular CPE sponsors, such as CPEThink.com offer course materials in downloadable PDF versions, meaning you won’t even need an Internet connection after you’ve downloaded them to your desktop/laptop.

However, if you plan to take the self-study route, you’ll have to ensure that you complete the courses on time. Another important thing you need to remember is that you’ll receive the credits for self-study New York CPA ethics courses only when you pass the exam at the end of each of them. Depending on your chosen CPE sponsor, you may get unlimited attempts to pass the exam, but you’ll have to clear it.

  • Webinars

Attending webinars is another popular method to pursue New York ethics CPE. It has become particularly popular among CPAs who prefer to learn in a classroom setting. One key advantage of webinars is that you can interact with the instructor during the session and clear any doubts immediately.

There’re two things you need to consider before finalizing this method. First, you’ve to ensure that there will be no technical glitches during a webinar. If you cannot participate in a webinar properly, you may not be able to receive any credit, meaning your time, effort, and money will get completely wasted.

To earn CPE credits by attending a webinar, you must fulfill some requirements. These include being present for at least 50 minutes in a 1-hour webinar and answering a certain number of polling questions. If you fail to do any of these, you may not receive any credit.

  • Conferences

This is the most expensive option and hence, is often preferred by CPAs who get the cost reimbursed by the organization they’re working for. This is because paying the high participation fee fully out of pocket may not be a feasible option for many CPAs.

However, there’re two major advantages of attending conferences to earn New York ethics CPE credits. First, you may be able to earn all of the required 4 credits by attending only one conference. And second, you get the opportunity of expanding your professional network as you can meet and interact with other CPAs working in a diverse range of industries.

As you can see, if you’re self-disciplined and want to experience utmost flexibility and cost-effectiveness, self-study New York ethics CPE courses will be the best option for you.

Essential Things to Consider When Choosing Self-Study New York Ethics CPE Programs

While there’re many CPE sponsors that offer self-study New York CPA ethics courses, not each of them offers the same value. Here’re the things you should consider when choosing these courses.

  • Quality of instructors

Since New York CPAs are required to take New York State-specific ethics courses, it’s best to take a course that’s prepared by an experienced New York CPA. It’ll help to ensure that you learn the most relevant rules and regulations in the state.

  • Cost of courses

Despite self-study courses being the most cost-effective option of pursuing CPE, you’ll still have to pay a good amount of money to take New York CPA ethics courses. One effective way to reduce the cost is to choose a CPE subscription.

However, when it comes to CPE subscriptions, it’s important to note that some sponsors offer them, excluding the ethics courses. It means you’ll have to purchase the ethics courses separately, which will add up the cost.

Therefore, you need to find a sponsor that lets you access its entire course library, including ethics courses using your subscription. It’ll help you meet your annual CPE requirements, as well as the triennial ethics requirements, in a cost-effective manner.

  • Money-back guarantee

Whether you plan to buy online New York CPA ethics courses separately or take them as part of a subscription, it’s important to check the accompanying money-back guarantee. Unless you’ve already taken some courses from a particular sponsor, it may never be possible to guarantee that its offerings will perfectly match your learning style and requirements.

So, it’s best to take the ethics courses that come with a money-back guarantee. And when it comes to refund policies, a longer duration is always better. For instance, at CPEThink.com, we offer the industry’s best 100-day, 100% money-back guarantee.

In addition to these, you should always join an experienced sponsor that has garnered a good reputation in the industry. This is because, with such a sponsor, the chances of going something wrong will typically be pretty low.

Going through the customer reviews of your shortlisted sponsors is perhaps the best method to get a clear idea of the quality of their course materials. Apart from the sponsors’ websites, you may also want to check third-party review websites.

Closing Notes

Ethics is a fundamental component of accounting. No matter if you’re working for an organization or running your firm in New York, you’ve to follow the ethical guidelines when delivering your services. And the best method to stay on top of these guidelines is to pursue New York CPA ethics diligently.

If you want to learn more about our New York CPA ethics online courses, get in touch with us today, and  we will be happy to answer your questions.



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