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Ethics Matters

Q1 2020

Colorado Mesa StudentCPT Gives Back
Colorado Mesa University StudentCPT encouraged chapter members and other organizations to support the Angel Tree. Gifts ranging between $10-$20 were collected and given to families in need. They celebrated with a wrapping party topped off with hot cocoa!

Florida State Feeds the Hungry
Florida State StudentCPT chapter members recognize the importance to giving back to their local community. This semester, they wanted to feed those who cannot afford to feed themselves. The chapter hosted a canned food drive to support Second Harvest of Big Bend.

TN Tech Takes Networking to the Next Level
In November, Student Programs Manager, Ashley Metivier, joined the Tennessee Tech StudentCPT chapter for an interactive presentation focused on Networking. Students perfected their handshakes, created personal pitches and came up with conversation starters.

LEAD WITH INTEGRITY: Do You Ever Wonder Why?

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Ethics Matters

Q1 2020

Ever wondered why you are not quite hitting the mark in some key area of your business or life? You have laid out the perfect plan. You have the right team in place. The resources you need to execute are available, and all should be moving forward. However, the breakthroughs are not happening, or the big opportunity is evading you. I too, have wondered like this before. The reasons could vary, depending on the situation.

A few times in my life, when I have wondered, I discovered that motivation was the common denominator. I am a highly motivated leader, and I attract motivated people to my teams. However, collectively, we can at times be misaligned in our motivations.

Recently, I led a workshop for approximately 100 leaders at a conference focused on influential leadership. My session addressed leading from any level of an organization. During my preparation, it struck me that we often have different motivations based on our levels in organizations, the scope of our involvement and a host of other potential factors.

For example, the CEO may be motivated by the net profit yielding from the organization’s product or service offering(s). At the same time, the middle manager may be motivated by getting the exposure needed from a particular product launch to propel him or her to a senior management position. While the individual contributor working on the marketing of the same launch may be motivated by winning the local marketing association award he or she may be qualified to win for leading a successful campaign.

Although these are examples, the point is that we sometimes must look at our true motivations for what we are doing. If those motivations are not in alignment with an overall mission or purpose, we can miss the mark and fall short of our goals. Also, as ethical leaders, we have the responsibility of learning the motivations of the people we lead. When we know their motivations, we can manage the alignment of individual motivators with the overall team’s goals and objectives.

If you ever wonder, look at your motivations and the motivations of the people around you.

As always, Lead with Integrity.

The NASBA CPT Co-Hosts 14th Annual Audit Conference

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Ethics Matters

Q1 2020

On December 3, 2019, 175 professionals, business leaders, public accountants, educators and policy setters gathered for the 14th annual Ensuring Integrity: Audit Conference at Baruch College in New York, NY. Attendees included partners from the Big 4 accounting firms. Hosted by the Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity and the NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT), the conference provides a forum for interaction and discussion between representatives from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). The conference will be featured in the 2020 February and March issues of the The CPA Journal.

CPT President, Alfonzo Alexander, opened the conference by welcoming guests and giving opening remarks. The program was headlined by William Duhnke, III, recently appointed chair of the PCAOB. Other conference speakers and panelists included: Noel Allen (NASBA), Beverley Bahlmann (IAASB), Ami Beers (AICPA), Brandon Brown (Deloitte & Touche LLP), Douglas Carmichael (Baruch College), Bob Dohrer (AICPA), William Duhnke, III (PCAOB), Jeremy Goss (Grant Thornton), Ronald Hauben (EY), Susan Jones (KPMG LLP), Jeff Mahoney (CII), Caludius Modesti (Akin Gump), Shawn O’Brien (Thomson Reuters), Marc Panucci (SEC), Thomas Ray (Baruch), Mike Santay (ASB), Tom Seidenstein (IAASB), Lisa Smith (AAS), Jagruti Solanki (Aprio), Amy Steele (Deloitte), Kirsten Vosen (Deloitte), and Megan Zietsman (PCAOB).

Attendees were eligible to earn up to eight hours in continuing professional education (CPE). Are you interested in attending the 2020 conference? Email for more information.

GOOD NEWS: Multiple Companies Donate Toward Australian Bushfire Relief

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Ethics Matters

Q1 2020

In late 2019, Australia began experiencing one of its worst bushfire seasons to date. Millions of animals have been affected, thousands of people have been displaced, dozens of citizens have died, and millions of acres have been burned. Through this tragedy, people from around the world have sprung into action to help with relief efforts. The generosity has included many companies, including Coach, Merrell, Amazon, Qantas, luxury group Kering,
and many more.

In the face of tragedy, hardships and struggles, we must remember to lean on others. As a community, near and far,if we come together, we can overcome any challenge.

Why I Give

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Ethics Matters

Q1 2020

Milton Brown, PA, CPT Life Director
Milton Brown serves as a Life Director for the NASBA Center for the Public Trust’s Board of Directors and is a proud supporter of the CPT. Mr. Brown was influential in the founding of the CPT and continues to serve a special role within the organization.

Why do you give to the CPT?
I feel attached to the CPT. I feel strong about the important work the CPT does. For me, it’s like planting seeds. You must nurture what was planted to get the results you desire and that’s exactly what the CPT does. The sooner you plant seeds, the sooner you get the right results. By planting seeds with students, we can direct their paths to make ethical decisions in the future.
I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this organization. The CPT is a dream come
true. The organization has grown so much since we first made the decision to start it. It’s just unbelievable to see all the schools and students we are impacting through the CPT. This is why I give!

Ethical Leadership Training – How to Get Your State Set Up

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Ethics Matters

Q1 2020

Ethical decision-making is critical but difficult when the tools to do so aren’t readily available. The NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) is committed to training and providing professionals and students with the tools needed to make ethical leadership decisions.

Several State Boards of Accountancy have elected to use the CPT’s Ethical Leadership Training (ELT) as part of their settlement agreement with practitioners who have violated their state’s expectations. In addition to the three training modules provided with the Professional ELT, there is an introductory video, which is customized by state, and an option for a fourth module that addresses state-specific regulations.

To learn more about the training components and to implement this program in your state, contact Sedrik Newbern at (615) 564-2129 or

How to Work with Your Spouse

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As Valentine’s Day approaches, we can’t help but have love on our minds. The love of a caring partner and coming home to someone you care about, after a long day. But what if you didn’t have to wait until the end of the day to see your partner? What if you worked with them during regular business hours? Many couples balance maintaining a relationship while also working alongside their mate. In fact, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 43 percent of small businesses are family businesses. If you are one of these couples, do you manage this predicament well? Are you able to navigate the situation with ease? If not, below are a few ways to work with your spouse most efficiently.

Whether at work or during non-business hours, communication is key. When your significant other is speaking, it’s important to listen to what they have to say, and not be quick to cut them off. Allow them the opportunity to express themselves and their opinions. Even if you do not agree with their sentiment, be sure they feel comfortable and confident enough to share their opinion, nonetheless. And if they need help, be sure to pitch-in. Asking for help is not always easy, so if your spouse is communicating to you that they are in need, assist in the resolution.

As with all co-workers, be sure you are showing your significant other the respect that they deserve in the workplace. Remember, although you feel comfortable around this person, and share a special bond with them outside of the workplace, it does not mean that they should be treated any differently than your other teammates – this includes the absence of special treatment. Instead, extend to them the same level of respect and professionalism as you do others. In relationships and business, open and honest communication can ensure that minor issues don’t develop into major problems.

Furthermore, be sure to leave office politics and discussions in the office, and do not let them overflow into your personal time. Often, couples who work together have a difficult time separating work and their personal lives. However, this is essential to maintaining a healthy balance that can help sustain your working relationship.

We interviewed a married couple in the NASBA office, that has mastered the art of working with their spouse. Below are their responses to our questions:

1. How long have you worked with your spouse? 

Wife: A total of about eight years.

Husband: I haven’t worked at all with my spouse. Since we have been together, nothing has felt like work.

2. How do you navigate working and living together?

W: We both work within the same division, Client Services, but we don’t see each other all day long.  Sometimes, I don’t see him until it’s time to go home and he is oh-so-patiently waiting on me to finish things up, HA! We often go to lunch together or to the gym, and it’s nice sometimes to have time together not at work, and without 3 little kids. My husband also says if we leave after 4:00 pm, we order pizza.  It’s 4:08 pm now, so it looks like it’s pizza tonight!

H: Most of the conversations you would have with your spouse when you get home have already happened, either during the workday or on the drive home. Since you are together, any family matters that arise can be handled without having to make phone calls, since you can just talk about it right then.

3. What is your advice for other couples who work together? 

W: Bounce ideas off each other, and run scenarios past each other, when you have a work issue.  It’s nice to have that time in the car to talk about work so that when you get home, you can just have family time.

H: Here is my list:

1. Make sure to go out to lunch together at least once a week.

2. If your spouse says they do not want gifts sent to them at work for special occasions, don’t listen. Send them anyways.

3. Make sure to share your work calendar.

4. Always check with your spouse before going out to get food (in case they want some).

5. If you are asked to do a survey, which requires answer that involve your spouse, make sure they review all your answers before submission.

If you continue to work on your communication, treat each other with courtesy and respect and leave the office at the office, you are on your way to a great working relationship. If you currently work with your spouse, and have advice of your own, please share it with the CPT.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

Outlining Your 2020 Vision

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As the new year takes off, this is a great time to outline your vision (i.e., thoughts and goals) for 2020. Now is the time to get focused on your professional and personal goals and to begin formulating a plan as to how you are going to reach your goals to make this one of your best years to date.

Begin your journey by evaluating your goals, progress and accomplishments from 2019. Decide, based on your previous year, what you may want to accomplish this year. Perhaps you did not reach one of your previous goals. In this instance, you may want to continue your progress of goals already in motion, or you may want to use last year’s accomplishments as inspiration and make a new wish list.

Here are a few tips to setting goals

• Write them down and review them regularly (daily or weekly)
• Set a timetable with milestones to track your progress
• Think big to stretch yourself
• Identify a partner to help hold you accountable for your goals

Lastly, count backwards. After you have decided what your goals are, determine the steps you need to take to achieve those goals. It is necessary to understand what needs to fall into place before you move forward to the next step. This will also keep you on track and help you take small steps toward a rewarding year.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

Smokers Need Not Apply

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A recent news story was published by ABC 15 News Arizona discussing the fact that the well-known company, U-Haul, would no longer interview or hire nicotine users. A company spokesperson said the change would be effective February 1 of this year. The company is based in Arizona and, according to the article, it is legal in Arizona to refuse employment to a nicotine user.

Overall, it was clear that U-Haul is taking health and wellness within the company very seriously. The organization started a wellness program four years ago and now they are “hoping to build a workforce that’s free from nicotine addiction as a whole,” says U-Haul Chief of Staff Jessica Lopez. In addition, U-Haul is said to be building a brand-new conference and fitness center on its midtown campus.

However, this does raise a serious ethical dilemma, all for the sake of reducing health insurance related costs and increasing productivity from the company’s perspective. The question is whether this opens the door for unethical behavior that could result in discriminatory hiring practices? Does a company, or any large organization, have the right to be this particular in its hiring practices? Let us know what you think by emailing

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

Giving Back During the Holidays

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As we run around town looking for the perfect gifts to give loved ones and friends, let us be reminded that some are not as fortunate as we are during this time of year. Individuals may be away from family, down on their luck or simply in need of some cheer. Oftentimes, leaders possess a natural ability of assessing the needs of others and in turn, lending a helping hand. This season, no matter where you find yourself, remember that some of the most appreciated and most memorable gifts involve helping those in need.

Is one of your New Year’s resolution to get rid of the things you no longer need or use? If so, use this time as an opportunity to not only downsize, but to help the less fortunate. For example, clean out your closet and get rid of anything you have not worn in quite some time or do not plan on wearing again. Stop by your local thrift store or homeless shelter to donate your items. In fact, the homeless shelter may need other items you have on hand and no longer need. Call ahead to find out the variety of items they are looking for this year.

When we think of the less fortunate, we may or may not immediately think of the furry friends out there that need love too. Volunteering and making donations to animal shelters is a great way to give back. Visit the animal shelter nearest you to volunteer your time cleaning kennels, walking and feeding the animals, and more. In addition, if you have blankets or towels that you no longer need, ask the shelter if they could use those as well. Everyone enjoys staying cozy and warm this time of year, including our four-legged friends. If you would like to take it one step further, bring the animals treats to brighten their day, or adopt a pet looking for a new home.

Do you enjoy an active lifestyle or would like to try something new? Sign up for a 5k race that gives back to a worthy cause. Along with eggnog and candy canes, this time of year welcomes 5k races that vary in theme, size and cause. If you search event calendars in advance, you are sure to find one that piqued your interest. If fact, you are encouraged to share the experience with friends, family, neighbors or anyone else looking for a challenge.

Remember, being tomorrow’s leader begins today. Share your expertise, kindness and time with those that need it most and you are sure to shine this holiday season.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist