DO THE RIGHT THING: ETHICS AND THE CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT

Trust is a precious commodity in business. Here, Chartered Accountants Worldwide presents articles, reports and opinion pieces that explore ethics and consider how finance professionals can promote integrity, openness and transparency in their organisations.

For businesses today, doing the right thing has to be about more than mere lip service. High-profile scandals have brought the issue of ethics centre stage. Organisations must now do more than ever to rebuild trust by acting with transparency, following good practice, and leading with integrity. A good reputation is a hard-earned currency. But what does an ethical business look like? What models are there to follow? How are the standards established and maintained? And where can finance professionals play a role?

It’s fitting that Chartered Accountants Worldwide is exploring the theme of ethics in business: the accountancy profession first arose from the aftermath of failed joint-stock companies and the need for greater public scrutiny. Government, stakeholders and the public now expect more from business than just a focus on the bottom line, and profit at all costs. Armed with independence, professional scepticism and a questioning mindset, accountants are well placed to help the organisations they serve to foster an enduring culture that values ethics and doing good.

ETHICS INSIGHTS

E-Payments and cashless societies (part 1)

Most people are very familiar with the benefits of a cashless society by now. Hardly a day passes without the media around the world reminding readers of how e-payments can bring about a decrease in the transaction costs that are associated with the handling of cash, or how businesses can gain consumer insights from data collected from e-payment transactions.

Combating white-collar crime?

White-collar crimes are increasingly sophisticated and transnational. The nature and scale of recent cases have been mind-boggling. In April 2018, forensic accountants from RSM Corporate Advisory highlighted issues involving possible roundtripping transactions, fabrication and alteration of transaction documents, as well as possible fraudulent and erroneous claims under the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) tax scheme, with the involvement of senior company officers at a local listed company, Trek 2000 International.

Report examines the benefits and pitfalls of trust

The move away from face-to-face contact is damaging trust in the delivery of professional services, not technology.