Ethics Ed Proposes Independence Rule Revisions. (Highlights)

Journal of Accountancy, April 2003 | Go to article overview

Ethics Ed Proposes Independence Rule Revisions. (Highlights)


An exposure draft from the AICPA professional ethics executive committee proposes revisions to certain provisions of Rule 101--Independence--that pertain to nonattest services, loans and leases. The most significant changes would apply to members providing nonattest services to attest clients.

The proposal is part of a project to reevaluate these provisions of the Code of Professional Conduct. The committee is responsible for promulgating ethics interpretations and rulings to provide guidance on the rules' scope and application. The revisions call for

* Incorporating into rule 101, where applicable, references to the nonattest services rules of authoritative bodies such as the SEC and the GAO.

* Strengthening the rule's general provisions.

* A new requirement to document, before a member performs nonattest services, the understanding he or she reaches with the client regarding their respective roles, responsibilities and other matters.

* New restrictions on valuation and appraisal services as well as actuarial and financial information systems-related services.

* Clarification of certain nonattest rules on subjects such as bookkeeping and internal audit assistance.

Another proposed change would modernize the independence rule's provisions that apply to covered members--those subject to the most rigorous independence standards--who maintain credit card or cash-advance balances with their firms' financial-institution attest clients. …

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