The Power of One – a message to members

Anton Power of One
By Anton Colella, ICAS CEO

27 October 2015

Anton Colella calls on all CAs to place ethical leadership at the heart of their professional responsibilities.

Today at the ICAS Conference I will launch “The Power of One”.

Through this initiative we aim to help rebuild trust in business, leveraging the influence and behaviour of our 21,000 CAs around the world.

Ethics and integrity are at the heart of the professional responsibilities of ICAS members. Through their ethical behaviour, CAs are a force for good in the organisations in which they work.

Each CA has responsibility for maintaining the highest standards of ethical leadership throughout their career.

We are aware of the difficulties which can often be faced by our members where inner strength and moral courage are needed to counter what may be major obstacles or a countervailing culture, for example:

  • where the culture within an organisation discourages challenge to unethical behaviour;
  • where unethical behaviour within an organisation is entrenched as the norm;
  • where people are benefitting financially from unethical practice.

Personal factors and circumstances can also influence an individual’s approach to an issue:

  • The fear of unpopularity or isolation can deter from challenging current practices and procedures;
  • Personal financial commitments can make whistleblowing or resignation unpalatable options;
  • The possibility of personal financial reward may make an unethical course of action seem very attractive.

ICAS recognises the power of every individual CA – “The Power of One” – to influence those around them. No matter the career stage or level of seniority, every CA can have a strong role in shaping the culture and values of the organisations in which they work.

ICAS will therefore call on every CA to place ethical leadership at the heart of their professional responsibilities, to shape the culture and values of their organisations, to help re-establish ethics at the core of business practices and to rebuild public trust in business.

We will take a strong leadership role in the advancement and application of ethics. In particular we will:

  • set out ethical leadership as the defining characteristic of our profession;
  • build on the principles in the Code of Ethics to include moral courage;
  • develop our approaches to education and regulation to focus even better on ethics and integrity;
  • provide new guidance and support on how to exercise moral courage in support of what is right and in influencing and leading others to follow that example;
  • facilitate mentoring relationships for our members to help them deal with any ethical matters arising and opportunities to provide ethical leadership to others;
  • develop new case studies to help members explore the different dimensions of a range of ethical dilemmas;
  • publish a series of contributions on ethical leadership.

Find out more about The Power of One on


  • Accountancy

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