Members and candidates can prevent unintentional misrepresentations of their qualifications or the services they or their firms provide if each member and candidate understands the limit of the firm’s or individual’s capabilities and the need to be accurate and complete in presentations. Firms can provide guidance for employees who make written or oral presentations to clients or potential clients by providing a written list of the firm’s available services and a description of the firm’s qualifications. This list should suggest ways of describing the firm’s services, qualifications, and compensation that are both accurate and suitable for client or customer presentations. Firms can
also help prevent misrepresentation by specifically designating which employees are authorized to speak on behalf of the firm. Regardless of whether the firm provides guidance, members and candidates should make certain that they understand the services the firm can perform and its qualifications.
In addition, to ensure accurate presentations to clients, each member and candidate should prepare a summary of his or her own qualifications and experience and a list of the services the member or candidate is capable of performing. Firms can assist member and candidate compliance by periodically reviewing employee correspondence
and documents that contain representations of individual or firm qualifications.
Verify Outside Information
When providing information to clients from a third party, members and candidates share a responsibility for the accuracy of the marketing and distribution materials that pertain to the third party’s capabilities, services, and products. Misrepresentation by third parties can damage the member’s or candidate’s reputation, the reputation of
the firm, and the integrity of the capital markets. Members and candidates should encourage their employers to develop procedures for verifying information of third party firms.
Members and candidates who publish a webpage should regularly monitor materials posted on the site to ensure that the site contains current information. Members and candidates should also ensure that all reasonable precautions have been taken to protect the site’s integrity, confidentiality, and security and that the site does not
misrepresent any information and provides full disclosure.
To avoid plagiarism in preparing research reports or conclusions of analysis, members and candidates should take the following steps:
Maintain copies: Keep copies of all research reports, articles containing research ideas, material with new statistical methodologies, and other materials that were relied on in preparing the research report.
Attribute quotations: Attribute to their sources any direct quotations, including projections, tables, statistics, model/product ideas, and new methodologies prepared by persons other than recognized financial and statistical reporting services or similar sources.
Attribute summaries: Attribute to their sources any paraphrases or summaries of material prepared by others. For example, to support his analysis of Brown Company’s competitive position, the author of a research report on Brown might summarize another analyst’s report on Brown’s chief competitor, but the author of the Brown report must acknowledge in his own report the reliance on the other analyst’s report.