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Blocks of values | AccountingWEB | Principles of accounting in the spotlight
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ICAEW puts profession’s ethics in the spotlight

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The new vice-chair of the ICAEW’s Ethics Advisory Committee has spoken about upholding the principles of accounting after some notable disciplinaries.

17th Jun 2024
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Anything putting pressure on the fundamental ethical principles of accounting is a threat to the reputation of the profession, the new vice-chair of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’s (ICAEW’s) Ethics Advisory Committee has told AccountingWEB.

Stuart Brown, who has been a member of the committee since 2021 and the organisation’s members and commercial board since 2023, is also a director and head of technical and compliance at Lincolnshire-based accountancy and business advisory firm Duncan & Toplis.

He will serve as the vice-chair of the Ethics Advisory Committee, which helps to develop new guidance for the profession, as well as reviewing cases and taking part in consultations, for the next three years.

Understandable scrutiny

Speaking to AccountingWEB, Brown said assisting with the running of the committee is a key role at a time when the industry has been under intense scrutiny, which, in his view, is “understandable”.

“There have been some very notable disciplinary findings made against the profession over the last few years,” he added.

“Business stakeholders want to ensure that they can trust accountants – that is a fundamental expectation and therefore, yes it makes sense the questions are being asked.

“However, I would note that sometimes accountants, especially auditors, may be held out as scapegoats for issues where the root cause lies elsewhere – for example, poor management of a business by the directors and owners of that business.”

Open and honest

During this tenure, Brown believes that “supporting the committee to provide the highest-quality advice and information resource for members” would help ensure the industry’s reputation is upheld, but he stressed: “Anything putting pressure on the fundamental ethical principles are a threat to the reputation of the accountancy profession.

“As accountants, we must always ensure that we are acting to uphold the ethical principles – to be open and honest. We must also call out other accountants who are seen to not act in this manner.”

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By FactChecker
17th Jun 2024 20:29

Does ICAEW see itself more as a Pot or as a Kettle?

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