Ethical Standards To Be Maintained By Professional Accountants

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Question :

King's Own Institute


The topic for assessment is “Do accountants need to be ethical?”

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Answer :


The moot essence of accountancy profession is accepting the responsibility to act solely in the interest of public. Herein, it is inevitable that a professional accountant can not afford to work solely for the interest of his client. In the last, few years several critics have argued regarding the specific ethical standards that the accountants need to follow in order to maintain reasonable alignment with their profession. This study attempts to compare the established perceptions regarding the ethical standards that the accountants need to maintain as the professional code. In the course of the study, relevant articles have been analysed in order to evaluate the predominant opinions of the articles.  

Discussion of the analysis 

Behavioural norms

The incipient article seems to heed on the aspects of the expected countenance that an accountant need to maintain in order to be termed as professional. Apart from the nuances of the individual appearance, in order to abide by the requirements of professional identity, the accountant needs to be compliant with the governing jurisdiction that backs the development of a professional accountant. Fecund articles seem to improve the limitations of the current article by reflecting on certain section of ethical responsibility in accountancy (Stuart, 2014). For instance, specific articles suggests that in order to retain the professional demeanour towards the tasks of an accountancy, the accountant must refrain him/her from getting involved in such activities that might harm the reputation of the respective unit. Moreover, toughest thing that the accountant must abide with is to resist the violation of the behavioural obligation of his/her profession under any circumstances ( 2018).

Honesty and Integrity

As the prevalent article appear to heed on the responsibility of an organization to develop professional ethics of a specific accountant prior to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), it is imperative in this regard to illustrate the individual urge of an accountant to become ethically sound by honesty and integrity (Vite, 2010). It is prone for the accountants to face moral dilemma since certain circumstances coupled by the hierarchical instructions must enforce him/her to get involved into debauch activities. In this regard, the following article seems to recommend the accountants to be honest while retaining a robust and uncompromising attitude towards the employed work. In this regard, the accountants must remain unyielding towards any bait; for instance to be associated with divulging of information that might cater deceiving results prior to the sake of the core customers. In this regard, all the ethical accountants are required earning an awareness regarding the core components of the Code of Professional Conduct proposed by AICPA in order to obtain a nominal understanding regarding the enforceability of certainregulatory act.   

Ethical leadership

The article is adequately fecund since it has been able to fuse an empirical overview of the development of professional and ethical guidelines prior to accountancy along with the sectors, which has been gradually collapsed due to the absence of proper ethical leadership skills. Since the article intends to delve into the origin of accounting standards, it urges the accountants to earn a nominal awareness regarding the ethical standards of accounting proposed by several prudent jurisdictions (Accounting, T. and Florida, U. 2018). One of the prime factors that the following article seems to recommend is the trait of confidentiality. This is one of the cardinal requisites since it facilitates the development of an unflinching attitude that might cater the subsequent robustness in the appearance of a ethically sound accountant. It is in the hand of the ethical accountants to retain the trust of the core consumers to the firm since any involvement in any case of unofficial disclosure of confidential information might tarnish the quotient of trust.    

Independence and Objectivity

Most of the critics are of the opinion that Independence and objectivity are the core norms that are aligned with this profession. It is important for the accountants to make unbiased decisions and recommendations that are beneficial for the client. According to Vite (2010) the accountants need to be honest in order to reflect integrity. Although as per   the accountants need to make decisions that are beneficial for the clients, IFAC (2006) strongly argues that public practice of the accountants require that the accountants do not completely concentrate on the benefit of the clients but they need to act in the interest of the public as well. Robert Half (2018) argues that it is important to remain objective and independent in this profession in order to avoid external influence on the decision. As Khani (2014) commented that independence and objectivity are important factors in this role and the author also agreed with the importance of ethics in the Domain of accounting. 


Decision making is another significant factor in the accounting profession as identified most of the critics. As Robert half has effectively pointed out accountants are subjected to handle a wide range of sensitive and confidential data. Therefore, it is important for them to maintain the confidentiality of the information (, 2018). Decision making in the profession needs to be objective and most of the authors have agreed on the fact. However, the objectivity can be relative and it is important for the accountants that relativity does not enter in the professional domain. In the code of Ethics for the Professional Accountants one of the most important code of conduct reflects professional competence and due care. This principle forbids the accountants to be influenced by external factors in their professional decision making. Copeland (2015) in his article has also pointed out the importance of ethical consideration in taking important decisions. Other than Copeland the other articles that are subject to this study has not elaborated the importance of ethics by using graphs and statistical data. However, the principle of decision-making has gone through a significant perspective of Stuart (2014) in his article. He has minutely pointed out the need of both technical proficiency and ethical sensitivity in the process of decision-making. 


Evaluation of six different sources has helped in understanding the similar perspectives of the authors regarding the principles and ethical standards that are the primary requirements in the sphere of accountancy. However, evaluating several opinions are necessary in order to understand the accountability of the prevalent beliefs regarding the ethical codes of this profession. In the light of the comparative analysis of the chosen article, it can be stated that both the previous and the recent articles emphasize on the importance of ethics in the field of accountancy. Several authors differ in their reasons in justifying the ethical standards and the need for those standards, but the importance of ethics has been accepted by most of the authors.