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Acting In The Public Interest
AIA protects the public interest by making sure that our members, their firms, and our students maintain the highest standards of professional competency and conduct. This is embedded throughout everything we do, from our qualifications, robust membership requirements, supervision and regulation of our members, and our production of research, best practice, and skills guidance.
An Ethical Education and High Standards
On completion of our professional qualifications, our students not only achieve a qualification equivalent to a UK master’s degree, but also attain a developed understanding of professional ethics. Ethical conduct is embedded throughout our syllabus at all levels, and we also have an Ethics and Professional Practice paper at the final stage, which tests students’ understanding of the ethical behaviour expected from professional accountants. The learning doesn’t stop there, and ethics is a regular topic in our continuing professional development programme.
AIA ensures our members offer the best quality of service by maintaining high standards of guidance, quality assurance and compliance. AIA Members in Practice are trained and regulated throughout their membership; the public can have complete confidence in their professional and ethical standards.
All members of AIA must follow the high standards of professional conduct laid down in the AIA Articles of Association, Bye-Laws and Code of Ethics; and operate within the legal framework of their jurisdiction. Our members are qualified professionals, but we understand sometimes things do go wrong, and in those cases, we have robust and independent complaints and whistleblowing processes.
In line with best corporate practice, we actively nurture an organisational culture that is aligned with AIA’s vision, mission, values, and strategy, promoting integrity and valuing diversity. This applies throughout our organisation, from our team working at the AIA Head Office, right up to board level.
AIA is governed by a Council of members, responsible for ensuring we deliver the objectives outlined in our Constitution. The Council also decides on AIA’s strategic objectives, monitors our performance in relation to them and oversees our annual budget.
As a professional organisation ethical and professional conduct is embedded in everything we do, from our qualifications, processes, and procedures to our business values. Members are bound by the AIA Constitution which includes regulatory requirements and our Code of Ethics. AIA has adopted the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants™ published by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants.
AIA believes that regardless of identity, background, or circumstance, everyone deserves the opportunity to develop their talents and skills to their full potential, to work in a safe, inclusive environment, be rewarded fairly and be recognised for their work, and have a voice on matters affecting them.
AIA’s engagement with government, standard setters, regulators, and other stakeholders ensures we remain at the forefront of the profession by shaping its future and that best practice is maintained.
Policy and Public Affairs
Our policies are developed in collaboration with our members through a range of working groups, and regular updates keep them informed of the latest policy developments. Here’s a taste of our most recent policy and public affairs activities:
AIA responds to many invitations for comment, including consultation and discussion papers, published by regulatory bodies, government, and standard setters, on a range of topics. We seek to make a strong contribution to policy and debate and in doing influence the shape and future of the profession
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has unveiled the contents of his Spring Budget in the House of Commons. It had a focus on prompting those who have left their jobs to return to the workforce, and boosting business investment.
AIA is a member of the European Federation of Accountants and Auditors for SMEs (EFAA) and has collaborated with other members to respond to the European Commission’s proposals outlining the adoption of EU Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) linked to a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). AIA aims to aid EFRAG in developing sustainability reporting standards that are proportional for SMEs, embracing the principles of ‘Think Small First’ and ‘Smart Regulation’ aiding SMPs to play their part.
The government, the Green Finance Institute, and a number leading financial professional bodies, including AIA, are signatories of the Green Finance Education Charter, designed to embed green finance and sustainability into the core curricula, new qualifications, and the continued professional development of accountants.
AIA offers extensive guidance and support for supervised firms including firm-wide risk assessment, policies, controls, and procedures, training, criminal record checks, client due diligence, politically exposed persons, record keeping and data protection, and guidance and updates on emerging risks.