Conduct regulations applying to members, students, and employees of ICBUSA Practices in their professional and business activities, both paid and voluntary.

Definition of a Professional Bookkeeper:


A management professional, often specializing in financial compliance, business strategy, technology set-up, execution and maintenance of financial records for sole-proprietor, non-profit, partnership and corporate business enterprises.



The purpose of this Code is to ensure that ICBUSA members adhere to the rules, guidelines and standards of the ICBUSA to establish pubic trust. Professional Bookkeepers are expected to be truthful, careful, diligent and to conduct themselves in a professional manner. This Code of Conduct outlines what is expected from all of members of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers of the United States of America. This code has been developed based on the experience and expected level of professionalism required for an ICBUSA member to effectively discharge their duties. The code of conduct will be enforced through sanctions up to expulsion.


1) Professional Code of Conduct - Rules and Regulations of the ICBUSA:

  • These rules and regulations apply to all members of ICBUSA.

  • A member must comply with these rules and regulations and any failure to do so shall constitute misconduct.

  • A member must at all times co-operate with the association and promptly attend and respond to any communications regarding any complaint made against them under the ICBUSA Professional Code of Conduct. Failure to do so will result in a breach of the code and can result in sanctions that may include expulsion and removal of designation for non-compliance.

  • A member shall not participate in illegal activities in any jurisdiction. If a member has been convicted of a criminal offence, including but not limited to an offence of fraud; theft; forgery; money-laundering; extortion; counterfeiting; criminal organization activities; violation of the provisions of any securities legislation; violation of the provisions of any tax legislation that involves, explicitly or implicitly, dishonesty on the part of the member; or having been discharged absolutely, or upon condition, after pleading guilty to, or being found guilty of, an offense must notify the association in writing immediately. Failure to do so will be considered a violation of the ICBUSA Professional Code of Conduct.

  • A member will not allow his or her professional judgement to be compromised by bias, conflict of interest or undue influence of others. The member must bring objectivity and sound professional judgement to all of the services they provide.

  • A member must communicate with fellow members in a professional manner that maintains the professional integrity of the association. If there is a concern with a member’s services which may be considered a violation under the association’s code of conduct and regulations, they must be reported to the appropriate department.

  • A member cannot produce or present any documentation or information which they know to be false or misleading. This includes an oral report, statement or representation which the member knows or should have known to be false or misleading.

  • A member must not misrepresent themselves in any way. This includes but is not limited to indicating that they hold any designation or qualification that has not been granted or has expired. This also includes claiming to be a member of a professional body when they are not a registered member in good standing.

  • A member cannot provide any service that requires a designation required by law, unless they have the designation and are in good standing. This would include any services that are legislated for designated accountants.

  • A member must not hold client or trust funds, unless permitted to do so legally through another professional body. Special circumstances require clarification and approval by ICBUSA.

  • A member must pay all membership subscriptions to ICBUSA promptly and must be in good standing.

  • A member must inform ICBUSA of any changes in their address, telephone number or the name and address of their employer or practice within 30 days.

  • A member must attend any meetings they are required to attend of the Disciplinary Panel of ICBUSA.

  • A member must comply with any direction of the Disciplinary Panel of ICBUSA.


2) Integrity and Due Care:

  • A member at all times is expected to be straightforward, honest and fair in all professional situations. He or she is also expected to act diligently and in accordance with applicable technical and professional standards when providing professional services.

  • A member must not sign or associate themselves with letters, reports, or statements that are false or misleading.

  • A member is required to ensure when employees are performing professional services under their authority, that they have adequate training and supervision when needed.

  • A member must act responsibly and provide professional services on a timely basis.

  • A member’s responsibility is to act with integrity and due care and to meet contractual obligations or services as defined by the terms of their engagement or employment agreement.

  • A member cannot provide any service that requires a designation required by law, unless they have the designation and are in good standing. This would include any services that are legislated for designated accountants.


3) Professional Behavior:

  • A member may not engage in any activities which are likely to bring themselves or the profession of bookkeeper or ICBUSA into disrepute. It is up to the discretion of ICBUSA to determine if an activity or criminal offense causes disrepute to the profession or organization. Accordingly, such member should encourage an ethics-based culture in their organizations. At all times, such member is expected to act in relation to other professional colleagues, clients and general public, with the courtesy and consideration expected.


4) Professional Competence:

  • A member shall sustain professional competence by keeping informed and complying with developments in professional standards in all functions in which the member provides professional services or is relied upon because of employment. ICBUSA requires the professional member to adhere to the continuing education requirements outlined in ICBUSA policy. A member is required to comply with all the policies, bylaws and regulations in force at that time.


5) Privacy Policy and Confidentiality:

  • A member is expected to protect confidential information they acquire as a result of professional, employment, or business relationships, and to not disclose private information without proper and specific authority or exploit it for their personal advantage, or the advantage of a third party. However, if a member is required to disclose confidential information due to one of the following they will have not been considered violating the code of conduct under the confidentiality requirement;

  1. permitted or authorized by the client or employer.
  2. required by law.
  3. permitted or required by a professional right or duty, when not prohibited by law.

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