Discussion paper on Ethics Principles
As part of its remit to promote ethics and integrity in business and the profession, the ICAS Ethics Committee carried out a review of the fundamental ethics principles within the ICAS Code of Ethics to try to ensure that they clearly describe the ethical behaviour required of each individual professional accountant in today's world.
The proposed amendments to the current principles were:
- The introduction of the new principle of "moral courage".
- A greater focus on personal responsibility, ethical leadership and public interest responsibilities.
- Highlighting the need for "ethical judgements".
- The adoption of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants' recent proposal relating to the principle of professional behaviour.
In its discussion paper, “The Five Fundamental Ethics Principles: Time for Evaluation?”, the Committee welcomed comments on these proposed amendments.
Request a copy of "The Five Fundamental Ethics Principles"
The discussion paper prompted responses from several large UK accountancy firms, professional bodies, a regulator, and some individuals. The majority of respondents to the discussion paper believed that the current five fundamental ethics principles are still fit for purpose - there was however support for the concept of ‘moral courage’, although not as an additional fundamental ethics principle.
ICAS has taken on board the views expressed during the consultation process, and has therefore opted not to unilaterally include a new fundamental ethics principle of ‘moral courage’ into the ICAS Code of Ethics. It is however envisaged that the concept of ‘moral courage’ will be introduced into the ICAS Code of Ethics in order to reflect the ICAS belief that ‘moral courage’ is an underpinning qualitative characteristic required of a CA.