American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
As AICPA staff, Cathy Allen led the development of the AICPA Plain English Guide to Independence (which is widely used by CPA firms) and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct's Conceptual Framework for Independence. As an Audit Conduct consultant, she helped lead the AICPA's Codification project to restructure the Code of Professional Conduct.
AICPA and Other Courses
Cathy Allen authors several CPE courses on professional ethics, auditor independence and related topics for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). These courses come in many different formats, e.g., virtual webinar, text, online, and self-study, and may be purchased on the AICPA's web site using the links below:
- Ethics and Professional Conduct: Updates (4 credits, video webinar with Cathy Allen as presenter)
- Professional Ethics: 2019 Update and Refresher (1.5 credits, online self-study)
- Professional Ethics and Responsibilities in Tax Practice (2 credits, online self-study)
- Professional Ethics for CPAs in Business and Industry (1.5 credits, online self-study)
- Professional Ethics: The AICPA's Comprehensive Course (8 credits, online self-study/8.5 credits text self-study)
- Independence (4.5 credits, online self-study)
- Real World Business Ethics (13.5 credits, online self-study)
- International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (3 credits, online self-study)
- Applying Professional Skepticism in an Audit (4.5 credits - online self-study, 4 credits - video webcast)
- A Firm's System of Quality Control (8 credits, online self-study)
Cathy Allen also developed a 2-hour professional ethics webinar entitled, Ethics: Pressures & Perceptions, hosted by CPAacademy.org.
Content Development: State-specific Ethics
We are approved to provide state-specific, board-approved CPE in professional ethics for in the following states:
- Ohio - 3 CPE credits (Sponsor # CPE.432)
- New York - 4 CPE credits (Sponsor License # 002925)
- Florida - 4 CPE credits (DBPR course # 23690)
Content Development: SEC/PCAOB/Sarbanes-Oxley Independence
The SEC and PCAOB quality control standards require firms to provide training on auditor independence to their personnel upon entry to the firm and periodically (typically annually). We have created customized content on auditor independence for firms of various sizes, which they use to satisfy regulatory independence, CPE, or other purposes, e.g., improve compliance in specific areas or remediate a quality control deficiency cited in a PCAOB inspection. Typical deliverables are instructional materials (including exams and knowledge check questions) in interactive formats usiing PowerPoint, Rise (Articulate 360) and audio/video tools.
Content Development: AICPA Code Of Professional Conduct, DOL and GAO
Compliance with relevant ethical requirements is critical to a firm's system of quality control. We've created courses for firms that address not only the AICPA ethics and independence requirements but also other regulatory requirements that are relevant to the firm's practice, e.g., US Government / Yellow Book, Benefit plan / DOL, Banking or Insurance regulations (e.g. FDIC or NCUA).
Academic Case Studies: Auditor Independence
As part of a CPA firm / academic institution collaboration, we created comprehensive case studies for use in university auditing classes to teach the importance of auditor independence and its application in practice.
Video Learning Tools: Auditor Independence
We created the technical content for videos a large CPA firm used to educate new firm entrants (including those from outside the CPA profession) and existing staff about the import and impact of the auditor independence rules. The technical content was embedded in entertaining interactions between people in real-life scenarios.