Championing Ethical Leadership
Trust, integrity, and objectivity are at the heart of the accounting profession. Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) member organizations offer a number of resources to promote ethical behavior and quality services that serve the public interest.
Communities around the world rely on professional accountants to hold businesses and governments to account through tax compliance, sustainability reporting, and fraud prevention, among many other services. To learn more about the profession’s commitment to advancing ethical behavior, explore our codes of conduct, data, and training tools.
As gatekeepers for financial markets, AICPA & CIMA members are professionally obligated to provide investors with trustworthy and reliable information. Members are required to comply with rigorous ethical standards, as well as local laws and regulations. The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, founded by the American Institute of CPAs and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, offers a variety of tools and resources in areas including risk management and combatting financial crime.
Pressure to act unethically can happen to anyone in any profession. Four in 10 employees have faced an ethical dilemma at work, according to a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of AICPA & CIMA. Findings of that survey also reveal the importance of having a workplace code of conduct, effective ethics training, and meaningful action from leadership. Read the executive summary to understand how shifts in public perception and workplace expectations are impacting the state of business ethics.
Chartered Accountants are proud of their ethics and integrity, which enhance their breadth of skills and expertise that help businesses across the globe thrive. A recent survey by Chartered Accountants ANZ revealed that fintech is the future, but accountancy and finance professionals are needed “more than ever” to build trust. Similarly, a report on the 21st Century Profession found that professions must continue to adapt while ensuring that their skills and expertise remain grounded in ethics, trust and integrity. And as we move away from face-to-face communication, clearly communicating your organization’s values and commitment to honesty has never been more important, according to a report on the Future of Trust.
All around us, firms, industry and the public sector are changing how business is done. We need to be at the forefront of ethical thought leadership and sustainability so that we can support our members’ role in measuring new forms of value. Explore the Chartered Accountants Ireland Ethics Resource Centre, which provides resources for appropriate business policies and practices in accountancy, as well as guides on developing an ethical culture and navigating potential dilemmas. The Technical Hub for members includes the latest updates on audit and assurance standards, anti-money laundering regulations, and the Code of Ethics, among many other topics.
In their roles as ethical leaders and trusted advisors, Chartered Professional Accountants rely on professional skills, values, ethics, and attitudes to serve their organizations and clients. CPA Canada partnered with several international bodies, including The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), to explore ethical leadership in an era of complexity and digital change. Read the report and the related four-part thought leadership series to learn how the profession is evolving to address changing stakeholder needs.
ICAS was a co-signatory of the report on ethical leadership (link above) in an era of complexity and digital change. Through their ethical behavior, ICAS members (CAs) are a force for good in the organizations in which they work. They can also influence those around them, and thereby help shape the culture and values of their organization. The cumulative effect of their influence can help reinforce the importance of ethics at the core of business practices and of a more responsible and holistic approach to business. In this way, CAs are a key component of building public trust in business, to the benefit of our broader society.
The ICAEW Code of Ethics applies to all its members, students, affiliates, employees of member firms and, where applicable, member firms, in all of their professional and business activities. ICAEW produces a wealth of resources in support of the Code to promote ethical behavior within the profession. Find out more about our policy work and our ethics guidance by visiting the Trust & Ethics hub.
HKICPA has developed a variety of educational resources related to the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants. Featured resources include case studies on applying the Code and behavior beyond professional work, as well as e-learning courses to provide professional accountants with knowledge relating to ethical requirements. HKICPA also created videos about the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, responding to conflicts of interest, and responding to non-compliance with laws and regulations.
The IDW Code of Conduct highlights trust and sustainability as core professional values, and serves as a guide to ethical conduct for German Public Auditors. The Code aligns with the auditor’s professional oath, relevant laws and regulations, and professional statutes. However, the framework goes a step further by encouraging a fair remuneration system, taking a constructive approach to mistakes, and running firms in a sustainable way.
JICPA is committed to maintaining transparency and independence as a self-regulatory organization for the accountancy profession. We believe that our purpose is to uphold a sense of trust in the CPA profession across national boundaries and to provide accountants, business owners, and investors with creative new tools that they can use to meet the challenges of doing business in the 21st century. The Institute accomplishes these goals by maintaining a code of ethics for members and promoting compliance with the code. Watch this video on the origins and future of CPAs to learn how accountants embody many of the same principles of the Samurai – balancing observation, law, and cooperation.