Board-Approved Ethics Courses Required to Take the CPA Exam
Ethics courses are evaluated to determine if a particular course meets the criteria as defined by Board Rule 511.58. Reevaluation of the course is required after three years or is necessary if a significant change is made to the course content that directly relates to the Board definition of an acceptable ethics course.
The Board should be notified if: changes are made to the course pertaining to the instructor, method of delivery, syllabus, course content, the course number, or course title, or if the university adds instructors or chooses not to offer the course.
Students taking one of the approved ethics courses taught by the instructor of record in a face-to-face, traditional classroom setting may be assured that the course meets the Board's ethics requirement in order to apply for the Uniform CPA Examination.
How to Submit an Ethics Course for Consideration
The following documents are needed and should be sent to the Board for consideration.
- Course Syllabus
- Class Schedule
- Ethics course matrix (link provided below)
- Names of Instructor(s) teaching the course
Ethics Courses Requirements
Board Rule 511.58(c) requires that applicants for the CPA examination complete a Board-approved three-semester-hour ethics course taken at a recognized educational institution. The course should provide students with a framework of ethical reasoning, professional values and attitudes for exercising professional skepticism and other behavior that is in the best interest of the public and profession. The course should provide a foundation for ethical reasoning and include the core values of integrity, objectivity, and independence.
Instructors teaching the course should not have been disciplined by the Board for a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
An ethics course should cover the following topics:
- Ethical reasoning - 15%
- Integrity - 15%
- Objectivity - 15%
- Independence (as it pertains to accounting) - 15%
- Other core values - 15%
- AICPA, SEC, and the Board of Accountancy's ethics rules - 10%
- Ethical theory - 10%
- Other topics - 5%
Topical coverage should incorporate a majority of accounting case studies and moral dilemmas supplemented by business and general case studies and moral dilemmas.
An ethics course should be delivered in a face-to-face, traditional classroom setting. Courses offered in a hybrid or distance learning format may be considered at a later date and must be approved by the Board.
Approved Ethics Courses
An approved ethics course will be included on the list on the Board's webpage along with the name of the instructor for the course. Instructors are expected to:
- Teach from and adhere to the syllabus and class schedule that is accepted by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
- Provide students with a framework of ethical reasoning, professional values and attitudes for exercising professional skepticism and other behavior that is in the best interest of the public and profession.
- Provide students with a foundation for ethical reasoning that includes the core values of integrity, objectivity, and independence.
- Conduct the class in a professional and ethical manner that models behavior that students may be expected to display as a professional accountant.
- Provide guidance to students concerning the ethical rules and regulations of the Board and/or the CPA regulatory agency in the state, as well as national regulatory and professional accounting organizations.
- Adhere to the statutory requirements of the Public Accountancy Act and the Board's Rules of Professional Conduct, as well as all other rules promulgated by the Board.
A violation of the Public Accountancy Act or a Board rule, or the failure to achieve one or more of the above expectations may be cause for removing an instructor from the list of approved instructors for ethics courses.