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Today there is probably more talk about ethics and values in business than ever before. As you face challenges in business and decision-making it’s important to do some self-reflection and ask if ethically you’re making the right decision.
Values should be at the core of every business (and employee). It is what you stand for, your philosophy and reason for being. Values help to steer your business, employees and management in the right direction.
Ethics and values are the cornerstone of the profession and it’s what distinguishes CAs(SA) from other professionals. As a responsible leader you have a duty to act in the best interest of the public at all times – and this is only possible if you have high moral fibre ingrained.
The fundamental principles to comply with are:
Integrity: Be truthful, straightforward and honest in all your business relationships.
Objectivity: Don’t allow bias, conflict of interest or undue influence to override your judgements.
Professional competence and due care: Maintain your knowledge and skills at the level required to give the best professional service to your clients.
Confidentiality: Respect the information acquired as a result of your business relationships and therefore not disclose any of that information to others or use the information for personal advantage.
Professional behaviour: Always act in a professional manner and avoid actions that can discredit the profession.
These values and principles are something that our cover profile of the month, Priscillah Mabelane (CEO of BP Southern Africa), also believes in. She says in the article that she has built her career success on authenticity, courage and old-fashioned diligence. For her these values are crucial and so deeply ingrained in her that she will not work for any company that is not aligned with her value system. She also believes that agility and resilience are important characteristics for CAs(SA).
When facing conflicting priorities and difficult decisions it’s always a good idea to have a look at your guiding principles to help you make the right decision and avoid the repercussions of unethical behaviour.
You will also notice that Accountancy SA not only looks different but is also available in different formats for you to read. We’ve updated to a new, modern design and from this month you are also able to read ASA on your smartphone or tablet in a responsive format.
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