Professional ethics is concerned with the principles used to judge the right and wrong of behaviour and actions. It is essential that as a professional accountant you are not only well qualified, but also that you possess a high degree of professional integrity to uphold your professional reputation and ensure public confidence in the accountancy profession. As a professional accountant, you accept the responsibility to fulfil the needs of an individual client or employer and also to act in the public interest.
Registration with a professional accountancy body, such as the AIA, and familiarity with its Code of Ethics are essential attributes for all accountants aiming to meet the high expectations demanded by an expanding and ever-changing profession.
The AIA offers you a programme of education and training designed to encourage the acquisition of in-depth ethical knowledge, ethical sensitivity and the ethical judgement necessary for you to demonstrate with confidence, the application of the principles, values and reasoning underpinning current accounting regulation.
The AIA has adopted IFAC's Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, and in agreement with IFAC, all AIA Students, Affiliates and Members are supplied with a copy of the Code of Ethics and are bound by the Constitution to observe this Code. In doing so, you have a responsibility to ensure that your conduct is guided by five fundamental principles: Integrity, Objectivity, Professional Competence and Due Care, Confidentiality and Professional Behaviour.
FIVE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
A professional accountant should be straightforward and honest in performing professional services.
A professional accountant should not allow bias, conflict of interest or undue influence of others to override professional or business judgements.
PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE & DUE CARE
A professional accountant has a continuing duty to maintain professional knowledge and skill at the level required to ensure that a client or employer receives competent professional service based on current developments. A professional accountant should act diligently and in accordance with applicable technical and professional standards when providing professional services.
A professional accountant should respect the confidentiality of information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships and should not disclose any such information to third parties without proper and specific authority unless there is a legal or professional right or duty to disclose. Confidential information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships should not be used for the personal advantage of the professional accountant or third parties.
A professional accountant should comply with relevant laws and regulations and should avoid any action that discredits the profession.