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Ethics For Professional Accountants

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Question:

Discuss about the Ethics for Professional Accountants.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

The APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants has been issued by the APESB. It is an independent body that was developed in 2006. The main role of this authority body is to develop rules and standards for the betterment nd development of the professional system of the professional courses for the benefit of the public. The authority released this code of ethics for the public benefit. Every professional is required to follow the same and in cases if they fail there might be actions taken against them. This code is formed on the basis of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, which has been issued by the IESB. In all conditions the members who are practicing in Australia or they based in abroad, they need to follow these rules and principles unless they are prevented by the law or regulations. Various requirements have been stated in the context of the code, where the members are required to follow the same not only by the words that has been written but also the overall spirit of professionalism and virtue. A brief analysis of the overall code of ethics is stated , also how it is useful for the professionals and the public at large (Sonu, Ahn, & Choi, 2017).

Analysis

One of the most important aspect of the accounting profession is not only to comply with the needs of the specific company or individual, but it also requires than to conduct their duties in such a manner that it is not detrimental to the health of the public. For the same, the code has been established and every professional needs to follow the same. If any member is abstained from complying with any part of the code, than he must make sure to comply with all the other parts. The code mainly consists of three parts as given below-

The part A deals with the fundamental principles for professional ethics, and provides a framework for the members to follow.

  • It is the duty of the professional to identify any kind of threats that may be associated with the overall compliance with the fundamental duties and principles.
  • Once the threat has been indentified, the professional must look after its significance.
  • After this, the members must apply necessary safeguards, necessary steps to abolish the level of danger and make the entity free of such threats. The members should make sure that the overall compliance with the fundamental principles is not compromised. It should also make sure that proper professional judgment is applied in this case(Jones, 2017).

In case of part b and part c, it deals with how the professionals can apply the conceptual frameworks in certain situations, and presents certain examples by which safeguard can be established. It also provides certain scenarios in which there might be no safeguard available and how the professionals can deal and avoid the same. The mentioned clauses in part b, applies to those members who are in public practice and that working in part c applies to those members who are working in business (Grenier, 2017).

 

The following are the principles that the members needs to comply with.

  • Integrity – It is very important that the members are honest in their work and are very straight forward. It is important that no matter what work they do, and no matter how much people try to influence their decisions they must always be honest in their overall approach.
  • Objectivity- The professionals should make sure that there should not be any undue influence or biasness in their reports. It must be entirely unbiased, and free of any conflicts. They should never indulge in some decisions that have their personal motives attached to the same. They must take the decision as a neutral party. If in any way they are related to the management of that company, they should avoid taking up their work(Raiborn, Butler, & Martin, 2016).
  • Professional competence and due care- It is important that the client is provided the best of professional service as per the latest developments in accountancy and legislations, and proper care should be maintained from the point of the professional. It is important to be aware of all the recent updates and changes and include the same in their overall report.
  • Confidentiality- It is important that all the important information that is related to the client must be kept safe and should be revealed to anyone without the permission of the management. Confidentiality is an important provision that the professional must follow. In case they reveal any information then they might be held guilty for the same.
  • Professional Behavior- It is important to comply with all the fundamental rules and principles in sync with all the legislations. And they should make sure that there should not be any such action that might hamper their profession(Fay & Negangard, 2017).

It is important for all the members whether they are working as a public practioner or are working in  a particular business to follow these codes. It helps in building the trust of the public to a high level. The public can be ensured that in cases if their face any kind of fundamental threats the professionals will apply the highest level of professionalism to solve the same considering the latest accounting and legislative development. The accountants will also be required to maintain full confidentiality of the information that they deal with; by this the public will be sure that their important data won’t be leaked. It will also be helpful to the general public and the investors who take major decisions on the basis of these financial statements (Knechel & Salterio, 2016). If the professionals comply all the fundamental frameworks that are necessary for the financial statements than that will help in removing all kind of errors that might be involved in the system and present a true and fair view of the financials of the company. This will help the investors in taking important decisions, and will also be very helpful to the general public and the other stakeholders. It will also help in building the confidence of the public in the overall system and will also make them aware about the fraudulent practices that various companies might undertake. It is thus important for all the professionals to follow this code of ethics, and if in any case they are prevented from any law or legislation to follow the same than they have to give disclaimer in this regard. Thus we see that how helpful the code is not only for the individuals but also the general public and the entire professional fraternity establishing a reputation of for the same (DeZoort & Harrison, 2016).

Conclusion

 It is very much established that these codes of professional ethics are so much helpful, however there are certain areas that still need to be updated in this regard. It is very much important that these rules are not only on paper but the professionals actually follows the same and in cases where they lack , they must be penalized. There are various activities in which the professionals indulge that is influenced by the opinion of the management and the results are not hundred percent unbiased. So in these areas the authorities who are in charge must take very strict actions, they must see to it that the actions of the professionals are not causing any undue gain to them. In cases where such charges are established than very strict actions must be taken on them. This will help in improving awareness among the professionals on how important it is to follow the code of ethics. Proper training must be provided and all the principles must be explained clearly to avoid any kind of problems in the future. As a professional I should keep in mind their overall duties and the steps that they must take to make sure that all their actions are as per the stated code of ethics. If both the parties do their work with conviction, it will help in establishing a better professional behavior that will benefit all the parties that are associated with the same. Thus all on all it can be said that the step of the authority and the legislative body to launch the new code of ethics was fruitful and will be very helpful in the long run. The authorities should check those areas where still some changes are required and make the necessary updates. Feedbacks can be collected from the professionals and the various other parties like the companies, or the public. Their views can be considered while initiating these changes in the code of professional ethics for public accountants (Bae, 2017).

 

Refrences

Bae, S. (2017). The Association Between Corporate Tax Avoidance And Audit Efforts: Evidence From Korea. Journal of Applied Business Research, 33(1), 153-172.

DeZoort, F., & Harrison, P. (2016). Understanding Auditors sense of Responsibility for detecting fraud within organization. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-18.

Fay, R., & Negangard, E. (2017). Manual journal entry testing : Data analytics and the risk of fraud. Journal of Accounting Education, 38, 37-49.

Grenier, J. (2017). Encouraging Professional Skepticism in the Industry Specialization Era. Journal of Business Ethics, 142(2), 241-256.

Jones, P. (2017). Statistical Sampling and Risk Analysis in Auditing. NY: Routledge.

Knechel, W., & Salterio, S. (2016). Auditing:Assurance and Risk (fourth ed.). New York: Routledge.

Raiborn, C., Butler, J., & Martin, K. (2016). The internal audit function: A prerequisite for Good Governance. Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance, 28(2), 10-21.

Sonu, C., Ahn, H., & Choi, A. (2017). Audit fee pressure and audit risk: evidence from the financial crisis of 2008. Asia-Pacific Journal of Accounting & Economics , 24(1-2), 127-144.

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