Professional Skepticism USA
Brian Friedrich FCPA and Laura Friedrich FCPA
ETHICS: LIES, ALTERNATIVE FACTS AND PROFESSIONAL SKEPTICISM
PUBLICATION DATE: January 13, 2020
REVIEW DATE: January 13, 2021
EXPIRY DATE: January 13, 2023
CPE CREDITS: 3.5
In accordance with the standards of the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, CPE credits have been granted based on a 50-minute hour.
EXPECTATIONS FOR LEARNING
When you read a headline online that says “Insanity: The Word ‘Man’ Is Banned at Princeton University,” do you immediately think “That goes too far!”? Or is your first reaction “Really? That sounds like an author writing a sensational headline to generate traffic to their article.”?
As professionals, our clients and the public in general count on us to be the “voice of reason” and to show a healthy amount of skepticism. In fact, professional skepticism is one of the key underlying competencies supporting our ability to meet our ethical requirements. This session explores the ways in which information is created and presented to influence our perception and decision-making.
The goal for this session is to explore risk areas where information and messages can be presented to deceive us, and how we can fool ourselves as a result of our own implicit biases. Just as importantly, the course examines how professional skepticism fits into our obligations as CPAs within the Code of Professional Conduct, primarily by supporting the requirements for objectivity, due care and professional competence.
Throughout the course, we will examine actual stories, and hear examples of messaging that illustrate these risks and biases. After working through the course, you should have a better understanding of common pitfalls that threaten decision-making, and have some additional tools to better meet those ethical obligations under the Code.
LEARNING OUTCOMES: In this course you will learn how to
1. Recognize the importance of professional skepticism as a key element
of meeting professional ethical principles.
2. Distinguish how professional skepticism is applied in the context of assurance and non-assurance roles.
3. Recognize how quoted averages can deceive, and correctly interpret means and medians, factoring in variability.
4. Identify common ways that samples, stated accuracies, and unwarranted precision levels can be used to deceive us, and distinguish between correlation and causation.
5. Identify how charts can be used to manipulate messages, and determine common methods of deception through qualitative messages.
6. Establish ways to avoid making poor decisions based on misleading information.
7. Identify common types of biases that negatively affect our decision-making.
8. Recognize that biases exist as part of human nature and identify why this is the case.
9. Distinguish between unconscious bias and racism.
10. Determine effective ways to mitigate the negative impact of biases on decision-making.
EXPERT INTERVIEWS: Thanks to the following experts for participating in this course:
Gary Hannaford FCPA, FCA, IESBA Board Member 2012-2017
Jennifer Phipps, CPA, CA, Director - Assurance Services, Leed Advisors
CY Tay FCPA, FCGA, CFO, Green Oak Development Corp.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THIS COURSE
• This course is best experienced on the free ProDio mobile app. Download the ProDio app now on the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android). App is not supported on iPad. Use the Safari web browser.
• Our recommended web browser is GOOGLE CHROME for best performance. Please ensure your mobile phone or web browser is updated. You may experience issues with older phones or web browsers that are no longer supported, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer.
• Listen to each module completely and in order. Modules will only mark as completed when the entire module has completed.
• Review questions are included on the handouts tab. Please print the review questions and, when appropriate after a module has finished, complete the appropriate review question.
• Course Index: This course includes a key points handout and a full course transcript. To locate a key term or topic, please search (crtl-F) these documents.
• Completed modules will be indicated by a check-mark.
• Once all audio modules have been marked as complete you can begin the quiz.
• The course will not complete unless all modules and quizzes are marked as complete.
• A MINIMUM 70% PASS RATE is required to pass the course.
• Once you complete the final quiz and complete the course, please complete the course evaluation.
• Following the evaluation, you will be able to download your completion certificate.
• After the course is completed, you will no longer be able to retake the quiz.
• You will be able to access the course content (audio files and handouts) for 1 year after purchase.
• Download your completion certificate at any time from your "My Courses" page
PREREQUISITE REQUIREMENTS: None
COPYRIGHT: All content associated with this course is the property of ProDio Audio Learning Inc. and you may not copy or distribute course content without written authorization.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of our course content, once the course has been purchased, we are unable to provide refunds.
SUPPORT: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you require assistance.
TESTIMONIALS FROM PROFESSIONALS:
"I am semi-retired and find PD hours that are useful to me now and in the future difficult to find. This course was very well presented and interesting. I've complete it feeling excited about the topic and its usefulness in my volunteer work." (CPA)
"I enjoyed the course and the content was very thought provoking and meaningful for me. Thank you." (CPA)
"Well organized with relevant examples which were engaging to convey the detailed underpinnings of skepticism. As well as, providing approaches to improving ones skepticism and demonstrating support to ethical code of conduct." (CPA)
"I was looking for an ethics course that was different from the norm. I think that it delivered in that respect. The course contained a tremendous amount of information about different types of biases that exist and it made one think about the myriad of factors that could affect any opinion, result, report, analysis, comment, perspective, etc." (CPA)
"Very easy to listen to and engaging. Very well written, and the presenters have an excellent manner. Like being able to stop and start the audio at my own pace, thereby facilitating my ability to absorb the content." (CPA)
"The course was very technical and introduced a lot of bias concepts. The course indeed opened my eyes about the biases in me and in people around me (media, colleagues etc). Knowing them will surely make me a wiser professional." (CPA)
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