ICAS launches The Power of One

By Michael McGlinchey, CA Today

26 November 2015

CEO Anton Colella announces The Power of One - a major initiative to support members in ethical leadership.

ICAS CEO Anton Colella has called for a new era of personal responsibility across the business world, as he launched The Power of One business ethics initiative.

”The Power of One” provides new resources and support for members on ethics and is now available on icas.com.

Anton said: “Regulators, rules and codes of conduct can only achieve so much. For business to restore its reputation in the eyes of the public, we need leaders at every level, to stand up and be counted. Today we call on every one of our 21,000 Chartered Accountants around the world to embrace "The Power of One”.  That means taking personal responsibility and doing the right thing, especially when they encounter dubious or unethical behaviour.”

Anton said ‘The Power of One” places a new emphasis on personal responsibility. He said, “Corporate failure often begins with personal failure. Our aim is to place personal ethical behaviour as the number one priority for individuals”.

He added: “It is often a very lonely place for an individual to stand up against unethical behaviour.  ‘The Power of One’ aims to show business men and women who meet unethical behaviour that they are not alone –  thousands of Chartered Accountants around the world stand behind them and indeed expect their colleagues to stand up and be counted. The power in this is enshrining the power of individuals to make a difference.”

Through their ethical behaviour, CAs are a force for good in the organisations in which they work and the societies in which they live

Announcing more details of The Power of One at the New ICAS Conference in Glasgow today (Friday), Anton was due to tell the audience: “We have 21,000 members in highly influential positions in businesses and accountancy firms around the world.  Through their ethical behaviour, CAs are a force for good in the organisations in which they work and the societies in which they live.  They can also influence those around them, and help shape the culture and values of their organisations."

Anton said there has never been a more important time to shift the focus back on to business ethics.

He said: “The Power of One” would see a fresh focus on the ICAS Code of Ethics with a proposal to add Moral Courage to the five fundamental principles of: Integrity; Objectivity; Professional Competence and Due Care; Confidentiality and Professional Behaviour.

The ICAS CEO told the audience of CAs and other business leaders that the ICAS strategy of “Building a Professional Community” has ethics as its foundation and that ICAS would “take a strong leadership role in the advancement and application of ethics”, by:

  • Setting out ethical leadership as the defining characteristic of the profession
  • Facilitating mentoring relationships for members to help them deal with any ethical matters arising and opportunities to provide ethical leadership to others
  • Developing new case studies to help members explore the different dimensions of a range of ethical dilemmas
  • Publishing a series of contributions on ethical leadership, including the following themes:
  • public interest;
  • reputation;
  • leadership in ethical behaviour;
  • personal responsibility;
  • moral courage;
  • corporate governance and accountability.

This work, he said, would be accompanied by a range of supporting material, including an ethical decision making framework to assist members in dealing with dilemmas.

Anton said:, “The ICAS motto ‘Quaere verum (seek the truth)’ has served us well since our formation in 1854: let it continue to be the hallmark of a Chartered Accountant and the benefits that we bring to society.  Our vision is to be a global leader in the application of professional ethics. The launch of  "The Power of One” illustrates the importance attached to that strategic objective.”

Find out more about The Power of One on icas.com and watch out for further announcements on more resources and support on CA Today.


  • Thought leadership
  • Accountancy
  • The Power of One

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