ICAS research publications
ICAS is committed to promoting evidence-based policy making and therefore commissions research in key areas to support the development of policy.
For queries regarding our publications or research funding, please contact the ICAS Research Centre on 0131 347 0100 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ethics and integrity
Speak up? Listen up? Whistleblow? A survey of ICAS members (2019)
Catriona Paisey, Nicholas Paisey, Ioannis Tsalavoutas
As far as the accounting profession is concerned, CAs have become trusted business advisers, over and above solely operating the mechanics of financial management and reporting. As such, they are often privy to, and assessors of, closely guarded information. Most of this information will be legal and legitimate, but some will also indicate fraud and other unethical practices.
When this is the case, as stated by ICAS The Power of One2 business ethics initiative, “individuals, and particularly CAs, should have the confidence to speak out and influence the culture of organisations in which they work.” If raising issues internally is not appropriate, maybe due to the fact that senior management are those perpetrating the fraud, then whistleblowing becomes of the essence.
This ICAS research publication is the first of two papers documenting the results of a two-stage research project and consists of a review of academic literature on speaking up, listening up, and whistleblowing, ethics and organisational culture, which then formed the basis of a questionnaire survey of ICAS members.
Speak up? Listen up? Whistleblow? In their own words – insights into the ethical dilemmas of ICAS members
Following from a survey of ICAS members (Paisey et al., 2019), this research project investigates in depth the ethical dilemmas and actions of ICAS members in order to gain deeper understanding of the speak up, listen up and whistleblowing responses of ICAS members to ethical dilemmas
Shades of Grey: Directors' Dilemmas (2016)
This book builds on previous ICAS case study publications, but turns the attention to dilemmas facing company directors. The dilemmas address serious issues that could arise for boards of directors. The intention is that dilemmas are used for discussion and debate either in a training or business setting. the value is in the discussion and debate the dilemmas prompt. The dilemmas may be useful to individual organisations, for example, as part of an agenda for an away-day style board meeting.
Ethical Issues Encountered by Chartered Accountants (2008)
How often do we ask ourselves 'what should I do'? This report collates 28 true life ethical dilemmas faced by accountants either in practice or in business. The objective of the report is to bring ethical problems to life and to encourage debate and understanding of such issues rather than providing definite answers.
Ethics and the professional accounting firm: A literature review (2007)
High profile corporate collapses, with which accountants have been associated, have raised questions as to the integrity of the professional accountants involved. This report reviews the literature on professions and professionalism in general, with the objective of gaining insights into the evolution of, and ethos inherent in, contemporary accounting firms.
Ethics and the individual professional accountant: A literature review (2006)
This report reviews the literature on 'ethics and the individual professional accountant'. The study draws on a broad range of literature in an attempt to begin to model the complexity of individual ethical behaviour.
Ethics in business: A literature review (2005)
This literature review considers ethics in business from both an historical and contemporary perspective. The research considers the impact of globalisation and the respective responsibilities of corporations, consumers, communities and societies.
Taking ethics to heart (2004)
Edited by Christine Helliar and Jan Bebbington
The Research Committee of ICAS has undetook this investigation into the ethical standing of accountants. It explores ways in which pressures on ethical decision making can affect accountants and examines some potential remedies.
Professional investors and the decision usefulness of financial reporting (2016)
Stefano Cascino, Mark Clatworthy, Beatriz García Osma, Joachim Gassen, Shahed Imam and Thomas Jeanjean
Do investors assess financial reporting information differently depending on whether they wish to judge the stewardship of management or to value the firm? This publication reports on a large-scale survey of international professional investors undertaken to address this question and the findings suggest that the objectives of financial reporting do matter. The findings of the study have implications for standard setting in general and the current debate about the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting in particular.
Fair, balanced and understandable: Enhancing corporate reporting and assurance? (2016)
Ian Fraser and Boram Lee
Effective corporate reporting is essential to the efficiency of the capital markets but in recent years there have been significant concerns as to whether corporate reporting and the current levels of assurance are meeting the needs of investors. This report investigates the impact of the UK fair, balanced and understandable (FBU) requirement on both corporate reporting and assurance and to consider whether it is feasible and desirable to upgrade the assurance provided on the ‘front-half’ from an exception-based to a positive opinion.
Financial fair play: Implications for football club financial reporting (2014)
The seemingly paradoxical situation in European football finance - increasing revenues but declining financial performance and position - has now directly influenced football policy; most visibly in the introduction by UEFA of Financial Fair Play regulations designed to encourage clubs to adopt a more economically rational and sustainable approach to their activities. This report considers the impact of these regulations and the usefulness of conventional financial reporting for professional football clubs.
The use of information by capital providers
Against a background of the dramatic changes taking place in international financial reporting and in capital markets in recent years, this report reviews the literature on the use of information by capital providers, who are primary recipients of financial statements. The review focuses on the role and importance of financial statements in both financial decisions and in the assessment of stewardship.