Born to be a loser!

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To Download the resources for this course   Click here

To Review Chapter 1  Click here


Introduction to Course

Ethics CPE for the CPA
CPAs work in an amazing environment and the profession allows CPAs to set their own boundaries in their personal lives, but in their professional lives, a CPA’s business integrity is required to be impeccable.  Just how impeccable must the CPA be?  This course answers that question and it is easy to see why this course is chosen by so many CPAs.  


Many CPA Societies in the U.S.A have put their finger into the pie in an attempt to provide CPE courses that meet the needs for Professional Ethics for the accounting profession in their individual states.  The course work  produced or required by various CPA Societies has resulted in many different states developing their own ethics courses.  Why?  Because many State Boards of Accountancy have found that existing ethics courses, are not to their liking. 

     1.  Many of the current ethics authors have no professional or educational credentials,

     2.  Some are not professional writers, and

     3,  Some are not even CPAs,

Some CPA Societies and  the State Boards are forced to create their own ethics course and make it required in their own state. 

The defects of prior ethics courses have now become moot issues, because of the educational credentials and professional experience exhibited by Professor Donald N. Hester, CPA, the author of this course.


This course will bring together the ethics of the profession in an organized manner and will be presented in such a way that an ordinary CPA can make sense of all the information and be able to apply it in his or her own accounting career.  All of the necessary issues will be considered and discussed: Although the AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct and the Statements on Standards for Tax Services are the main focus, other resources also will be reviewed. 

Course Objectives
Each Chapter will start with a listing of achievable learning objectives.  A moderately good reader should set aside about 5-10 minutes per page.

Download these Resources for this Ethics Course
For the convenience of the student all of these documents can be downloaded from the author’s web site; if you do not have a copy of the new Code of Professional Conduct then please download it and the rest of these documents.  The author has used the content from these sources for the course content, Review Questions, and Case Studies; they are all based on these resources.

1. AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, effective December 15, 2014
2. Statements on Standards for Tax Services
3. IRS Circular No. 230
4. Securities and Exchange Commission 17 CFR, Parts 210 and 240
5. Government Auditing Standards (GOA), 2011
6. Public Company Accounting Oversight Boards (PCAOB)

Types of Ethics Questions in this Course
All problems are sequentially arranged according to the specific original source the problem relates too. The Review Questions in this course are stand-alone questions.  The Case Studies have 6-25 follow-up questions that use the same general information.

The author’s choice of the best answer for each question is in bold font to aid in the review process. Please note there are more questions provided in the content of the course than what will be used in the Final Exam.  That allows for some flexible in designing the Final Exam or for more than one version of the final test.

Types of Questions

  • Several non-applicable responses with only one response that is applicable.
    • Correct response is “one response that is applicable.”
  • Several responses that are applicable and one that is not applicable.
    • Correct response is “one that is not applicable.
  • Several applicable responses with one response that is best.
    • Correct response is “one response that is best.”
  • All responses applicable.
    • Correct response is “All of the above.”


Types of Matching Questions
Number of applicable responses are equal to the number of questions; ratio 1:1.

  • Correct response is “one applicable response per question.”
  • There are no extra responses.

Number of applicable responses far out-number the total number of questions; ratio as high as 1:5.

  • Correct response is a varied number of applicable responses of 1-5 applicable responses per each question.
  • There are many extra responses requiring greater discrimination and professional judgment.


Headings, Sub-headings, Review Questions, and Case Studies
For the convenience of the student the author has given each heading or sub-heading, Review Question, and Case Study a uniform appearance and they each contain:

  • The actual Code section of the Code of Professional Conduct, (2014)
  • Statements on Standards for Tax Services
  • IRS Circular No. 230
  • Securities and Exchange Commission 17 CFR, Parts 210 and 240
  • Government Auditing Standards (GOA), 2011
  • Public Company Accounting Oversight Boards (PCAOB)


These are followed by a topical descriptive heading that is identical to the heading found in that section in the Code or other sources.  The reader will first see the numbered Code section then the topical header or sub-header displayed before each paragraph, Review Question, or Case Study indicating the Code section and the topic.
Here is an example:

  • 0.300.050: Objectivity and Independence


Bolded Font is used for all Quotes
Quotations from the Code or other sources are surrounded by quotation marks with the reference at the bottom of the last paragraph of the quote.  The author also has bolded quotes from the Code of Professional Conduct and the other sources to help differentiate the content of the course from quotations from the Code and other sources:

  • The content of this course
  • The Review Questions. 
  • Case Studies

For the convenience of the reader, the material quoted from any sources will have a dark bolded font. (“Like this!”).  Do not confuse a quote with a header or sub-header which also has a bolded font.

About the Final Examination
The final exam will be a typically designed test requiring only 70% to pass the course if the student is taking the course to meet the annual CPE requirement.  For new CPAs, they must achieve 90% in order to pass.

Appendix C: Answers to Review Question
The author’s answers to Review Question are provided in Appendix C.  The Review Questions are found throughout the text of the course and are not a part of the Final Exam

Appendix D: Final Exam
When the student has completed this course please read Appendix D.  The final test will consist of the standard and typical multiple choice questions encountered in any CPE course.

The TOC is “Linked” to Course Content Paragraphs
For the tech-savvy, the student will receive a digital PDF formatted file for this course; the student will find the author has included active links to aid the student in navigating through the content of this course.  The Page numbers on the right-hand side of the Table of Contents (TOC) are linked to that specific paragraph in the content of the course.  These links will save the student time and make their study time more effective and efficient.  The author has created a link and interspersed this common link throughout the content of this course.  When the student finds the link Back to TOC that link will take the student back to the TOC.  Using these links will enable the student to navigate through the content of this course with ease and speed.




for Certified Public Accountants

Comprehensive Professional Ethics