Feds target accountants with new code of conduct

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is trying to root out corrupt and incompetent accountants from the futures industry.

The CFTC proposed Wednesday a new code of professional conduct for accountants that would include sanctions for those who do not follow the rules.

Accountants who break the code of conduct could be banned from auditing companies in the futures industry. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"Accountants auditing [CFTC] registrants perform a critical gatekeeper role in protecting the financial integrity of the futures markets and the investing public," the agency wrote in the Federal Register.

"Accountants appearing before the [CFTC] in this capacity must understand the business operations of their clients and conduct financial audits both in accordance with applicable professional principles and standards and in satisfaction of all the requirements of the [CFTC]’s regulations,” it added.

The agency said the proposed rules target “unethical or improper” behavior by accountants in the futures industry who are “lacking in character or integrity."

Accountants could be banned for one “highly unreasonable” violation of the rules or for repeated instances of smaller violations that demonstrate a “lack of competence,” the agency said.

The public has 30 days to comment.