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The case of Anti crying uncle

Ethics

Charles Selcer, CPA, MBA | December 2019/January 2020 Footnote

Editor's note: Updated November 26, 2019

Anti Pasto moved to Minnesota from his native Finland, becoming a CPA and taking a job with General Principals, a company that trains teachers to become administrators. But his passion was to work in public accounting. He quit his job at General Principals and interviewed with public accounting firms.

During an interview with a CPA firm, Anti was asked how he would handle a situation where he was called upon by a supervisor to subordinate his judgment on an accounting matter. Anti cited a detailed example and outlined a situation about General Principals in his response. Not being engaged in public accounting or in business, Anti thought giving that specific answer was permitted as he was not, at that time, subject to the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.

Q.   Did Anti commit an ethical breach?

A.   Yes. Part 3 of the Code of Professional Conduct applies to Anti. He is neither in public accounting nor business, but he is still a CPA. Code Section 3.400.040.04 states: A member should not use confidential employer information acquired as a result of a prior employment relationship to his or her personal advantage or the advantage of a third party, such as a current or prospective employer. The requirement to maintain the confidentiality of an employer’s confidential information continues even after the end of the relationship between a member and the employer.