.02 Licensees often serve multiple interests in many different capacities and must demonstrate their
objectivity in varying circumstances. Licensees in public practice render bookkeeping, accounting, payroll,
tax, and business advisory services. Other licensees perform bookkeeping, accounting, and prepare
financial statements in the employment of others, and serve in financial and management capacities in
industry, education, and government. They also educate and train those who aspire to admission into the
profession. Regardless of service or capacity, licensees should protect the integrity of their work, maintain
objectivity, and avoid any subordination of their judgment.
.03 For a licensee in public practice, the maintenance of objectivity requires a continuing assessment of
client relationships and public responsibility. In providing all other services, a licensee should maintain
objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest.
.04 Licensees not in public practice have the responsibility to maintain objectivity in rendering professional
services. Licensees employed by others to perform bookkeeping, accounting, and prepare financial
statements are charged with the same responsibility for objectivity as licensees in public practice and
must be scrupulous in their application of bookkeeping and accounting principles and candid in all their
dealings with licensees in public practice.
Section 105 - Article V—Due Care
A licensee should observe the profession's ethical standards, strive continually to improve competence and
the quality of services, and discharge professional responsibility to the best of the licensee's ability.
.01 The quest for excellence is the essence of due care. Due care requires a licensee to discharge
professional responsibilities with competence and diligence. It imposes the obligation to perform
professional services to the best of a licensee's ability with concern for the best interest of those for whom
the services are performed and consistent with the profession's responsibility to the public.
.02 Competence is derived from a synthesis of education and experience. It begins with a mastery of the
common body of knowledge required for designation as a licensee. The maintenance of competence
requires a commitment to learning and professional improvement that must continue throughout a
licensee's professional life. It is a licensee's individual responsibility. In all engagements and in all
responsibilities, each licensee should undertake to achieve a level of competence that will assure that the
quality of the licensee's services meets the high level of professionalism required by these Principles.
.03 Competence represents the attainment and maintenance of a level of understanding and knowledge
that enables a licensee to render services with facility and acumen. It also establishes the limitations of a
licensee's capabilities by dictating that consultation or referral may be required when a professional
engagement exceeds the personal competence of a licensee or a licensee's firm. Each licensee is
responsible for assessing his or her own competence—of evaluating whether education, experience, and
judgment are adequate for the responsibility to be assumed.
.04 Licensees should be diligent in discharging responsibilities to clients, employers, and the public.
Diligence imposes the responsibility to render services promptly and carefully, to be thorough, and to
observe applicable technical and ethical standards.
.05 Due care requires a licensee to plan and supervise adequately any professional activity for which he
or she is responsible.