Labaton Sucharow Partner Jordan A. Thomas presented in a six-part series hosted by West LegalEdcenter, part of Thomson Reuters.
Accountants play an important role in protecting investors.In addition to auditing and providing opinions on financial statements, accountants are in a unique position to identify and report wrongdoing.Prior to the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, when a CPA discovered attempted or actual fraud committed by a client, professional standards relating to client confidentiality posed a significant dilemma that challenged the CPA's primary duty to the public. Now, accountants no longer need to choose between doing the right thing and risking the loss of their professional licenses. Furthermore, for accountants who choose to report possible securities violations externally, the SEC Whistleblower Program offers anonymous reporting, employment protections, and significant monetary awards. This presentation provided practical guidance for accountants and other interested parties about accountants' responsibilities, rights, and risks when they detect possible securities violations in light of the new SEC Whistleblower Program.
- General state and federal professional responsibility considerations for accountants
- Overview of the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act
- When, where, and how accountants have historically been required or permitted to report fraud or suspected fraud
- Federal preemption of state CPA Code of Professional Conduct rules
- Recommendations for responsible organizations and accountant whistleblowers