In recent years there has been increased interest from individuals, organisations, regulators and governments in initiatives which reinforce integrity and enhance trust. At the same time, there has been increased recognition of the importance of integrity for reporting, the reputation of individuals and businesses and the economic development of countries.
Yet paradoxically, there is no generally accepted understanding of what integrity means. At an individual level, it refers to a person's character and behaviour and is often associated with honesty, truthfulness and doing the right thing from the wider community perspective. When applied to an organisation, integrity usually refers to an organisation which is co-ordinated, inter-connected and robust. When used to describe an activity such as reporting, integrity is often associated with something which is free from error and uncorrupted. So integrity is a relative concept, dependent on context.
ICAEW's latest 'Information for better markets' publication, 'Reporting with integrity', draws on ideas from a variety of disciplines. Moreover, because this report sees reporting with integrity to be a joint endeavour by individuals, organisations and the accounting profession, the report explores 'integrity' within all those contexts.