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What is the importance of ethics in accounting?

Moushumi Sikand

I'm a certified CPA with years of experience working with small and medium sized businesses in a variety of industries. I've helped my clients streamline their accounting processes, create realistic financial forecasts, and make strategic business decisions based on their numbers.

Following notorious accounting scandals, upholding ethics in accounting has become more crucial than ever before. It is the responsibility of accounting professionals to maintain integrity, confidentiality, and professional standards at all times.

Accountants need to be knowledgeable

Accounting guidelines and tax laws undergo frequent modifications, and accountants must stay up to date of the latest advancements and practices. Additional training may be necessary in some instances to update one’s skills.

If an accounting professional lacks the essential skills or expertise for a specific project, it is their ethical obligation to acknowledge so. Similarly, if they are overseeing junior staff, they should only assign tasks that the subordinate is competent to undertake.

Ethical accounting minimises legal risk

Accounting ethics guarantee adherence to the appropriate regulations and protocols, thereby minimizing legal exposure. A single unethical decision could result in severe repercussions, so it is crucial for an accounting professional to remember their duty to clients, colleagues, and the public to maintain ethical accounting practices consistently.

Accountants deal with sensitive information

Accountants come across sensitive data on a regular basis. When they are working for a client, they have access to business finances, banking information, employee tax file numbers, and bank account details.

As an ethical obligation, it is necessary to keep this confidential information secure, maintain integrity, and act professionally. For instance, one can ensure not to send any sensitive data via email and only utilize a secure network or private Wi-Fi to transmit information.

Let’s take ‘untangling the finances’ off your to-do list

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