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Ethics for accountants in business

Accountants are trained to ensure that the decisions and recommendations they make are of the highest standard. They have a role in furthering the legitimate aims of their employing organisation, and an ongoing duty to avoid any actions that may bring the profession into disrepute.

Having professional staff committed to maintaining high ethical standards benefits an employing organisation by helping develop and sustain a transparent approach to governance and related issues. Maintaining an objective stance can reinforce the values of the organisation and support its commitment to high standards leading to increased public confidence.

An accountant in business may have colleagues with an overly liberal attitude to laws and regulations, as well as be responsible for the management of non-professional staff.

In this section we will look at some common scenarios and provide guidance thereon. It is important to remember that the Code of Ethics applies equally to an accountant who is an employee or officer of an entity.

For a reminder of the fundamental principles, visit our dedicated page. 

ICAEW case studies

The case studies are illustrative and should be read in conjunction with the guidance contained in part A and part C of ICAEW's Code of Ethics.