(a) Discreditable acts. A licensee shall not commit any act which reflects adversely on the licensee’s fitness to engage in the practice of public accountancy.

(b) Acting through others. A licensee shall not permit others to carry out on the licensee’s behalf, either with or without compensation, acts which, if carried out by the licensee, would place the licensee in violation of the rules of conduct.

(c) A licensee shall not use or participate in the use of any form of public communication having reference to the licensee’s professional services which contains a false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, or unfair statement or claim. A false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, or unfair statement or claim includes but is not limited to a statement or claim which:

(1) Contains a misrepresentation of fact; or

(2) Is likely to mislead or deceive because it fails to make full disclosure of relevant facts; or

(3) Contains any testimonial or laudatory statement, or other statement or implication that the licensee’s professional services are of exceptional quality; or

(4) Is intended or likely to create false or unjustified expectations of favorable results; or

(5) Implies educational or professional attainments or licensing recognition not supported in fact; or

(6) States or implies that the licensee has received formal recognition as a specialist in any aspect of the practice of public accountancy, if this is not the case; or or will be competently performed for a stated fee when this is not the case, or makes representations with respect to fees for professional services that do not disclose all variables affecting the fees that will be charged; or

(8) Contains other representations or modifications that in reasonable probability will cause an ordinarily prudent person to misunderstand or be deceived.

(d) A licensee shall not by any direct personal communication solicit an engagement to perform professional services:

(1) If the communication would violate 31.0553(c) ASAC and it were a public communication; or

(2) By the use of coercion, duress, compulsion, intimidation, threats, overreaching, or vexations or harassing conduct.

(e) A licensee shall not practice public accountancy under a firm name which is misleading in any way, as to the legal form of the firm, or as to the persons who are sole practitioners, partners, officers, or shareholders of the firm, or as to any matter with respect to which public communications are restricted by 31.0553(c) ASAC. A firm name shall not be used by a licensee in the practice of public accountancy unless the name has been registered with and approved by the board. However, names of one or more past partners or shareholders may be included in the firm name of a partnership or corporation or its successor, and a partner surviving the death or withdrawal of all other partners may continue to practice under a partnership name for up to 2 years after becoming a sole practitioner.

(f) A licensee, when requested, shall respond to communications from the board within 30 days of the mailing of the communications by registered or certified mail.

History: Rule 3-88, eff 18 Apr 88.