Professional Ethics Review

CHAPTER 1: Principles of Professional Ethics

The professional ethics of an organisation are the moral principles or standards that govern the conduct of its members.

Members of all professional accounting bodies should maintain the standards of that organisation.

The Code of Professional Ethics issued by the AAT give it's members guidance in situations where ethical conflicts arise.

The code of professional ethics is split into three sections:

Part A – General principles, applicable to all members.
Part B – Guidance for members in practice.
Part C – Guidance specifically for employed members.

The six objectives of the code:1 – Mastering skills and techniques through learning and training and maintained through CPD.2 – Developing an ethical approach to work and observing a code of ethics.
3 – Acknowledging a duty to society as a whole in addition to the employer or client.
4 – Adopting an objective approach, free from conflicts of interest.
5 – Providing accounting services to the highest standards.
6 – Ensuring that the public know that accountants provide services to these standards.

The fundamental principles observed in order to achieve these objectives:

Professional behaviour – Accountants should maintain the good reputation of the profession and should not do anything to discredit the profession.

Professional competence and due care – Members have a duty to ensure they have the necessary skills to carry out any work that is assigned to them and that they always take sufficient care to ensure that the quality of their work meets the high standards expected of them. (CPD is part of this)

Confidentiality – Information obtained during the course of professional work should not be disclosed without proper and specific authority or unless there is a legal duty to do so.

Integrity – Members should be straightforward and honest in performing professional duties.

Objectivity – Decisions should be made based on true facts and...