Codes and standards

Understand the codes of ethics and professional standards that set our expectations of professional conduct and behaviour

In Brief

  • The codes of ethics for our members are established by globally recognised standard setting bodies in Australia and New Zealand
  • Our members are held accountable to the principles set out by the codes of conduct and professional standards in their country
  • The codes are also our guidelines when assessing member conduct and making disciplinary decisions

Standards of ethical conduct

As an accounting professional in Australia, you are expected to observe the Australian Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APES) 110 – Code of Ethics for Accounting Professionals.

Member conduct in New Zealand is similarly governed by the NZICA Codes of Ethics.

These standards are used to assess a member’s professional conduct in the event of a complaint by a client or third party.

A failure to meet the standard may result in disciplinary proceedings. Therefore, there is a significant duty imposed on members to ensure they comply with these standards.

The fundamental principles in both codes are:

  • Integrity: Honesty and straightforwardness in professional and business relationships
  • Objectivity: Avoid the impact of biases on your judgement, decision making or allow undue influence on others or yourself.
  • Professional competence and due care: Maintain professional knowledge and skill at the standard expected by a member of the public when seeking professional advice, or the standard of work and output by an employer. This includes keeping up to date with current trends and technical standards
  • Confidentiality: Respect the right of your clients and employer to have personal details and information kept secure, private and confidential.
  • Professional behaviour: Compliance with laws and regulations relevant to where you live and do not behave in a way that reflects badly on you, your business or employer and the profession

Both codes mirror the standard expected of an accounting professional in:

Public Practice

  • Professional appointments
  • Conflict of interest
  • Second opinions
  • Fees and other remuneration
  • Marketing professional services
  • Gifts and hospitality
  • Custody of client’s assets
  • Objectivity

Business

  • Conflicts of interest
  • Preparation of reporting information
  • Acting with sufficient expertise
  • Financial interests
  • Compensation and incentives linked to financial reporting and decision making
  • Incentives

Members in New Zealand undertaking audit and assurance work also need to adhere to the professional and ethical standards issued by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board including the Code of Ethics for Assurance Practitioners.

Access the standards online

The Code of Ethics and APES 110 are both available in your Member Handbook.

Standard setters for Australia and New Zealand

The Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB) sets the Code of Ethics and professional standards for Chartered Accountants ANZ, CPA Australia and IPA members.

The standards apply wherever members are located, except when prevented from so doing by specific requirements of local laws and/or regulations.

Standard setters for New Zealand

The New Zealand Regulatory Board sets the professional and ethical standards applicable to members resident in New Zealand.

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