Florida has a population of 19.89 million people. In addition to the individuals who spend every day going about their lives in the Sunshine State are the estimated 1.6 million small businesses that add to local economies throughout the state. What do small businesses and individuals have in common? Both small businesses and residents will use accountants to help them figure out the correct legal way to run a business, file taxes, and generally make sense of a complicated financial and legal system. Making sure that Florida accountants are professionals and receive the training necessary to be competent at their jobs is the Florida Department of Business Professional Regulation. Lets take a moment to see how this department helps to ensure that all accountants are held to ethical standards.
Florida CPA Ethics Course
The Division of Certified Public Accounting is responsible for setting the guidelines for what accountants have to do in order to be considered a CPA, or certified public accountant. A distinguished title that carries with it the trust of the public, CPAs must continue their education into their professional career, occasionally taking courses in a range of subjects, including ethics.
Every renew period, a CPA has to get 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) courses. This includes 20 hours of accounting auditing and 20 hours of behavioral subjects. In addition, every CPA looking to renew their certification must also take a 4-hour board approved course in ethics. Many other states including Texas have similar requirements for ethics coursework. So who can approve these courses? The Division has the ultimate say. A sitting board reviews coursework and determines whether or not the course will live up the standards they are looking for in an ethics course. It covers the topics required by the board, then it is allowed to be taught. Courses can be taught either in person or online. All courses end with an exam covering the material discussed during the class.
Why Bother With Ethics?
Simply put, accounting and ethics often collide. A CPA may need to utilize complex problem solving skills to determine whether or not a particular problem goes against ethics and what the right course of action will be. Courses in ethics also help to work out layered ethics dilemmas, where an accountant may be working under a range of different ethical frameworks including corporate codes, company policy, and individual practice policy. A Florida CPA ethics course addresses these issues and more, providing an accountant with the information they need to be functional in the workplace.