| Ethical Standards
This web page summarizes several ethical standards that I attempt to follow in my practice. For prospective clients and business partners, it is important to understand these standards since they may impose certain conditions. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you! - Matt H. Evans
- Professional Excellence -
I have a responsibility to make sure that I accept only those engagements that I can expect to complete with a high degree of quality. Every year I turn down a few prospective clients for a simple reason – they have imposed unrealistic deadlines for the engagement. For example, in February 2011, I was approached to turn-around a financial model in 24 hours and in the previous year, I was approached to turn-around a two week training program in three weeks. Before I agree to any deadline, I will need to clearly understand your requirements and you will need to allow sufficient time so I can produce a good work product or deliverable.
- Remain Objective and Independent -
It is important that I do not have any conflicts of interest on an engagement. For example, as a means of compensation for my services, I cannot accept ownership interest in your company, before, during or after any engagement. I cannot make management decisions for your company. My role is to advise and recommend courses of action.
- Honest and Open Communication -
I have a responsibility to act with integrity and do what is right. This requires that I give you my honest opinions and advice during the engagement. I have a responsibility to not misrepresent the facts.
- Independent Review of My Work -
As a condition of making sure I can meet your requirements, it is important to have someone within your organization review the quality of my work. This person should have sufficient knowledge and expertise about your company and the engagement. In the event that I secure a third party to help perform services, then I am responsible for reviewing the quality of this work. A good quality review process should be built into every engagement.
- Confidentiality -
I will not disclose any confidential information associated with an engagement. All engagement agreements include a confidentiality clause. For secure sharing of documents, services such as Watchdox can be used and for spreadsheets, additional security can be taken using XLSafe . Business partners who help me service a client should also maintain confidentiality.
- Commissions and Contingent Fees -
In the event that I refer a business partner to perform services and I receive a commission, I am responsible for informing you of this arrangement. In the event that I receive compensation based on a contingency fee, I cannot perform any type of service that reviews, validates, examines or otherwise touches the basis behind the determination of the contingency fee. For example, if information from your financial accounting system is used to determine my contingency fee, then I should not be involved in examining the integrity of your financial accounting practices. It is important that I am free from any conflict of interest when receiving a commission or contingency fee.
- Committment to Professional Development - My committment to professional development goes way beyond just taking a few courses per year. It involves developing my knowledge outside the traditional accounting areas, even to a point of having to challenge a State Board. It involves teaching and developing courses. It involves continously reading books, participating in discussions and doing everything I can to learn and grow to service others.
Sample Consulting Contract that embeds many of the ethical standards described above.
Virginia CPA License No. 38746