AICPA Ethics Codification Project 


    The AICPA’s Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) restructured the Institute’s ethics standards to improve the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct (Code) so that members and others can apply the rules and reach correct conclusions more easily and intuitively.

    To achieve this, PEEC restructured the Code into several parts each organized by topic, edited the Code using consistent drafting and style conventions, incorporated a conceptual framework for members in public practice and in business, revised certain Code provisions to reflect the "conceptual framework" approach (also known as the "threats and safeguard" approach) and where applicable, referenced existing non-authoritative guidance to the relevant topic.

    In addition, a new dynamic online platform was developed to house the Code. This platform allows users to quickly navigate the code, conduct searches and also contains personalization features.The new Code is effective December 15, 2014 with early adoption encouraged.

    Revised Code

    The revised code will be officially launched online on June 2nd pub.aicpa.org/codeofconduct and is effective December 15, 2014 with early adoption encouraged.

    The updated code lives on a new and dynamic online platform that not only allows the user to conduct and save basic and advanced searches but also includes the ability to email links, create and name bookmarks and add and save notes while reviewing the code. In addition, the online platform features pop-ups for defined terms as well as hyperlinks connecting to other relevant content within the code as well as external non-authoritative material issued by staff of the Ethics Division.

    The Ethics Codification video will provide you with an understanding of how to navigate the revised AICPA Code.
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    Conceptual Framework Approach

    The most significant change to the content in the revised AICPA Code is the incorporation of two conceptual frameworks, one for members in public practice and one for members in business. The conceptual framework approach is a way of identifying, evaluating and addressing threats to compliance with the rules resulting from a specific relationship or circumstance that is not otherwise addressed in the code.

    Learn more about the conceptual framework.

    Communications
    Journal of Accountancy:
    Ethics Made Easier - How to use the Revised AICPA Code of Professional Conduct
    Revised AICPA Code of Ethics…What’s the Fuss? A Guide to Viewing the Updated Format
    User-Friendly AICPA Code on Horizon

    Webcasts:
    Navigate AICPA's Revised Code of Professional Conduct  
        June 23, 2014 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. eastern
    Presentations:
    Project Overview
    Project Overview with Key Changes
    Project Summary
    Conceptual Framework

    Implementation Tools

    To assist with implementing the revised AICPA Code several documents are available including a mapping document.

    Visit the Ethics Codification Tools page for more information.



    Historical Project Information
    The PEEC approved a revised Code at its January 28, 2014 meeting, subject to editorial review. The revised Code will be effective December 15, 2014. The new conceptual frameworks and related interpretations however, will not be effective until December 15, 2015.

    The revised AICPA Code will be housed in a new system with expanded features, which is expected to be live by the 3rd quarter of 2014. Until then, interested parties are encouraged to view the version of the revised Code that was submitted to the PEEC for approval at its January 28, 2014 meeting.

    Revised Code approved by PEEC on January 28, 2014 (subject to editorial review)

    The proposed Revised AICPA Code of Professional Conduct was exposed for comment on April 15, 2013. The comment deadline was August 15, 2013.

    Before PEEC exposed the proposed revised AICPA Code for public comment the content was pilot tested with a group of users. The following table provides information about the pilot testing process as well as other materials you may find helpful in understanding the project.




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