Professional Ethics for Accountants

Ethical compliance is key to maintaining public confidence in the accountancy profession. All AIA members are bound by AIA's Constitution which contains a Code of Ethics.

Under our Code of Ethics, every AIA member must follow these five principles:


You must be straightforward and honest in all professional and business relationships.


You must not compromise professional or business judgment because of bias, conflict of interest or the undue influence of others.

Professional competence and due care

You must maintain professional knowledge and skill (in practice, legislation and techniques) to ensure that a client or employer receives competent professional service.


You must not disclose confidential professional or business information or use it to your personal advantage, unless you have explicit permission to disclose it, or a legal or professional right or duty to disclose it.

Professional behaviour 

You must comply with relevant laws and regulations, and avoid any action that may bring disrepute to the profession.

The Code can be accessed here

Acting in the Public Interest

The AIA’s robust membership requirements and disciplinary framework adds additional reassurance and protection to the businesses that rely on accountancy services. 

All accounting professionals must act in the public interest using their professional judgement and skills to build trust in the profession. 

It is for these reasons that AIA members are expected to engage with and apply the fundamental ethical principles to ensure:

  • The client’s needs are met
  • The public interest is not compromised
  • Risk is properly managed
  • All parties are treated fairly

Where an AIA member’s professional behaviour falls short of the ethical standards we expect, we will investigate and take action.

Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT)

AIA has adopted the Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT)

This guidance, written by professional bodies for members working in tax, sets out the hallmarks of a good tax adviser, and in particular the fundamental principles of behaviour that members are expected to follow. The guidance has been recognised in the courts as ‘setting the standard’ for use by all tax advisers in the UK.

This guidance aims to make clear any tax adviser’s obligation to advise their clients or businesses accurately and thoroughly of the implications of their actions, including reputational and practical aspects.  It also addresses common, as well as more complex and difficult, situations with expert commentary in an ever-changing environment.

Other Resources

IBE "just say no" toolkit

IBE "just say no" toolkit

The IBE Say No Toolkit is a decision-making tool, designed to help organisations support their employees to make the right decision when faced with a difficult situation. The Say No Toolkit provides immediate, practical guidance on a wide range of business issues. It will guide your employees to a YES or NO decision if:

  • offered a gift or hospitality package;
  • offered a facilitation payment ; or
  • faced with a conflict of interest.

The Toolkit works for organisations of all shapes and sizes.



The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) sets high-quality, internationally appropriate ethics standards for professional accountants, including auditor independence requirements.