Due care is one of the fundamental principles outlined in the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) Code of Professional Conduct. It is a principle that emphasizes the responsibility of accounting professionals to maintain a high level of competence and diligence in their work. According to the AICPA Code, due care requires members to:
- Continually maintain and enhance their professional competence: Accounting professionals should stay up-to-date with developments in the industry, including changes in accounting standards, regulations, and best practices. They should also engage in continuous professional education to maintain and improve their technical knowledge and skills.
- Exercise diligence in performing their professional services: Accounting professionals are expected to carry out their work with care, thoroughness, and timely attention. They should plan and supervise their work adequately, and apply their knowledge and expertise to ensure that the services provided meet the relevant professional standards and legal requirements.
- Thoroughly evaluate the quality of their work: Accounting professionals should assess the quality of their work by conducting a critical review of their findings, conclusions, and recommendations. They should ensure that their work is based on sufficient and appropriate evidence and consider the needs and expectations of the users of their services.
By adhering to the principle of due care, accounting professionals demonstrate their commitment to maintaining high standards of quality and professionalism in their work. This principle helps protect the public interest, enhance the credibility and reliability of the accounting profession, and foster trust among clients, employers, and other stakeholders.