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Ethics, culture and risk

“Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.”

H L Mencken

Navigating in Woods

What are the aims of your practice, and what might prevent you from achieving those aims? Sometimes, we are too busy attending to what is urgent to address those things that are most important. The risks faced by your business could threaten its reputation and even its existence, so time spent identifying those risks, and mitigating them, is time well-spent – time that needs to be set aside.

If you are a member of a professional body, that body will require you to comply with a code of ethics. If you are not a member of a professional body, you might nevertheless be a principal or member of staff in a firm that is bound by the code of a professional body. In any other situation, you might choose to adhere to (and be held accountable against) the fundamental ethical principles set out within the code of ethics published by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA). A good understanding of your Code of Ethics is a safeguard against reputational damage and possible disciplinary action. Compliance for Accountants can provide training in professional ethics. We can also help you to compile your own code of ethical conduct to make clear the standards expected of all principals and staff within the firm (and others with whom you might do business).

No matter how large or small your practice, it has its own personality and culture. How would you describe yours? Is your perception of firm culture the same as that of your colleagues? A code of ethical conduct goes some way to conveying expectations and so establishing an ethical culture as a component of risk management. But there are other measures that may be taken to encourage a culture of openness, leadership, empowerment, trust, etc.

Please contact us if you would like to know more.

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