MAS PRACTICE STANDARDS
AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
1. “Role” refers to the relationship of the CPA as a consultant to the client management and personnel. The basic role of the CPA in performing MAS is to provide advice and technical assistance to the client.
2. Practice standards are necessary in the consulting practice in order to promote the highest quality of performance of the practitioner.
3. Refer to page 71, par 2
4. Refer to page 71, par(s) 4 and 5
5. Refer to page 72, par 3
6. Refer to page 73, par 1
7. Refer to page 74, par(s) 2 to 4
8. Refer to page 75, par(s) 2 to 6
9. Refer ...view middle of the document...
Privately held company in which the president is the owner: Discuss the matter with the president who, as owner, can make the decision.
2. Company with several shareholders in which the president holds a controlling number of shares: Discuss the matter with the president. If the president accepts the recommendation and resigns, the problem is resolved. Otherwise, the matter should be discussed with the chairman of the board and the board of directors.
3. A large publicly held company: The tendency here is to step over the president and go directly to the chairman of the board. This is unwise. You have a responsibility to discuss it first with the president.
The honest and ethical solution is to tell it as it is. The most tactful approach is to make a full disclosure to the president privately, pointing out the vast growth of the company and the tremendous changes in technology that have occurred since he, as controller, installed the system. If he understands the danger in which he is putting himself with regard to a possible dissident shareholder, he probably will acquiesce and agree to go forward. If he doesn’t, and this is a privately held company in which he has control, you have accomplished your task. In a publicly held company, you may need to report the problem to the chairman of the board if the impact on the annual report is serious.
Professional ethics requires that you accept only those engagements which are felt to be beneficial to the client. Clearly, if the results of the study are favorable, the client will be benefited. There is only a 50 percent chance, however, that this will result. The question, therefore, is whether a 50 percent chance of benefit is sufficient to pursue the study. Many consultants would answer yes to this question and accept the engagement because of the potential profit. The consultant who faced this situation declined the engagement and suggested that the client should use the money set aside for the feasibility study to employ an advertising firm to help them sell the bonds. This decision was justified by what the consultant thought was the client’s best interest.
Ethical conduct requires that you not misrepresent facts and never subordinate judgment to others. Further, you should not serve a client under terms or conditions that might impair objectivity, independence, or integrity, and you should reserve the right to withdraw if conditions develop that interfere with successful conduct of the assignment.
The consultant who was faced with this situation refused to follow the direction of the president, and the president refused to pay the consultant’s fee. The president wanted to use the consultant as a means for firing a vice president. Ultimately, the fee was settled and no report was issued.
Professional ethics require honesty, integrity, and placing the interests of the...