3.18 The impact of ethical considerations


Additional information

The fundamental principles of ethical behaviour.

The fundamental principles are:

  • integrity
  • objectivity
  • professional competence and due care
  • confidentiality
  • professional behaviour.

How the principles of ethical behaviour impact the behaviour of accounting professionals and organisations.

Impacts on:

  • the role of the accountant in business
  • the role of the accountant in public practice
  • the role and composition of board of directors
  • the role of auditors and the audit report
  • the role and composition of remittance committee
  • corporate governance
  • corporate social responsibility.

The legal and regulatory frameworks which relate to the accounting sector, the importance of working within regulatory guidelines and the consequences of failing to do so.

Regulatory frameworks include an understanding of the role of:

  • Finance Reporting Council (FRC)
  • Government (Department of Business, Innovation and Skills – BIS)
  • European Union.

The role of professional bodies in establishing and enforcing codes of conduct.

Professional bodies involved are:

  • Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

How to act ethically when working with clients, suppliers, colleagues and stakeholders and the importance of adhering to organisational and professional value, codes of practice and regulations.

Acting ethically includes understanding and applying:

  • principles of ethical behaviour
  • codes of practice of CCAB and CIMA
  • regulatory framework, eg Companies Act, FRC, etc.

Appropriate courses of action to take if there is a suspicion that an unethical or illegal act has been, or may be, committed by an employer, colleague or client.

Courses of action include applying codes of practice to:

  • ensure safeguards are in place
  • evaluate the significance of threats to the fundamental principles
  • resolve conflicts of interest
  • seek external/professional help when necessary.