Accountants who are members of professional bodies are required to act in accordance with the highest professional and ethical standards.
These professional standards require:
- Avoiding conflicts of interest.
- Providing comprehensive and independent advice.
- Considering the client’s motives and intentions.Ensuring the client receives and understands your advice.
- Referring the client to other service providers who can help them (if necessary).
- Refusing to carry out instructions which you believe are likely to be either illegal or unethical.
- Fully documenting all discussions and confirming any advice in writing.
In the pursuit of making a dollar, some accountants have let their professional standards fall. This short-term focus irreparably damages accountants standing as ‘Trusted Advisors’, and results in the loss of confidence and trust in the profession.