Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Ethics (CHAPTER 13)

Professional accountant: A member of the ICAEW.

Professional accountants have a responsibility to act in the public interest as well as considering their
client or employer. The Codes require professional accountants to comply with the following five
fundamental principles:

Professional competence and due care
Professional behaviour

Integrity: Professional accountants shall be straightforward and honest in all professional and business
A professional accountant shall not knowingly be associated with any information where he believes that
the information:
 Contains a materially false or misleading statement
 Contains statements or information furnished recklessly
 Omits or obscures information required to be included where such omission or obscurity would be
When a professional accountant becomes aware that he has been associated with such information, he
shall take steps to be disassociated from that information.

Objectivity: Professional accountants shall not allow bias, conflict of interest or the undue influence of
others to override professional or business judgements.
Relationships that bias or unduly influence the professional judgement of the professional accountant
shall be avoided.
Conflicts of interest are considered in more detail later in this chapter.
Professional competence and due care
Professional competence and due care: Professional accountants have a continuing duty to:
 Maintain professional knowledge and skill at the level required to ensure that clients or employers
receive competent professional service based on current developments in practice, legislation and
techniques; and
 Act diligently in accordance with applicable technical and professional standards when providing
professional services.
Competent professional service requires the exercise of sound judgement in applying professional
knowledge and skill. Competence entails:
 Attainment of professional competence; and
 Maintenance of professional competence, requiring a continuing awareness and understanding of
relevant issues.
The professional accountant shall take steps to ensure that those working for him have appropriate
training and supervision.
Any limitations relating to the service being provided must be made clear to avoid misinterpretation.
Confidentiality: Professional accountants shall:

 Respect the confidentiality of information acquired as a result of professional and business
 Refrain from disclosing such information without proper and specific authority unless there is a
legal or professional right or duty to disclose; and
 Refrain from using such information for their personal advantage or the advantage of third parties.

A professional accountant shall maintain confidentiality even in a social environment. The professional
accountant shall be alert to the possibility of inadvertent disclosure, particularly in circumstances
involving long association with a business associate or a close or immediate family member.
A professional accountant shall consider the need to maintain confidentiality of information within the
firm. All reasonable steps shall be taken to ensure that staff under the professional accountant's control
and persons from whom advice and assistance is obtained respect the professional accountant's duty of
A professional accountant shall also maintain confidentiality of information disclosed by a prospective
client or employer.
The need to comply with the principle of confidentiality continues even after the end of relationships
between a professional accountant and a client or employer. When a professional accountant changes
employment or acquires a new client, the professional accountant is entitled to use prior experience.
The professional accountant shall not, however, use or disclose any confidential information either
acquired or received as a result of a professional or business relationship.
Confidentiality is considered later in this chapter.
Professional behaviour
Professional behaviour: Professional accountants shall comply with relevant laws and regulations and
avoid any action that discredits the profession.
This includes actions which a reasonable and informed third party, having knowledge of all relevant
information, would conclude negatively affects the good reputation of the profession.
Professional accountants shall conduct themselves with courtesy and consideration towards all with
whom they come into contact and shall not:

 Make exaggerated claims for the services they are able to offer, the qualifications they possess, or
experience they have gained
 Make disparaging references or unsubstantiated comparisons to the work of others