Consumer Protection Law
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I am CPA. I have a client for which I got into an emotional email confrontation after I properly prepared her tax return. She is not claiming anything is wrong with work, but that my emails after the engagement were "unprofessional". The client reported me to the states CPA society under the "due care" clause and acts "discreditable". I am not proud of our exchange, but this seems like a customer service issue and not a violation AICPA Code of Conduct or Virginia Code of conduct. Please let me know if this is in the Virginia's Society's jurisdiction to dicipline me.
Response: “Virginia’s Society” does not have the jurisdiction to discipline you in this case under the "due care " clause, which requires that you be diligent and competent in discharging your duties to the client. If nothing is wrong with the tax return , but you got into confrontation with the client for some reason, that is not an issue with due care as provided in AICPA Code of Professional Conduct Section 56 Article V:
"A member should observe the profession's technical and ethical standards, strive continually to improve competence and the quality of services, and discharge professional responsibility to the best of the member's ability.
.01 The quest for excellence is the essence of due care. Due care requires a member to discharge professional responsibilities with competence and diligence. It imposes the obligation to perform professional services to the best of a member'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 certified public accountant. The maintenance of competence requires a commitment to learning and professional improvement that must continue throughout a member's professional life. It is a member's individual responsibility. In all engagements and in all responsibilities, each member should undertake to achieve a level of competence that will assure that the quality of the member'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 member to render services with facility and acumen. It also establishes the limitations of a member's capabilities by dictating that consultation or referral may be required when a professional engagement exceeds the personal competence of a member or a member's firm. Each member 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 Members 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 member to plan and supervise adequately any professional activity for which he or she is responsible."
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