Date posted: 07/02/2024

Going Further to support trust and accountability

In brief

  • Roadmap with 14 actions to enhance trust and accountability in the profession and beyond
  • A Chartered Accountant's Commitment for members to reaffirm annually
  • Increased compulsory ethics CPD for members per triennium to 6 hours

Ethics and integrity will always be central to public trust in the accountancy profession.

The overwhelming majority of Chartered Accountants ANZ members fulfil their commitment to their Code of Ethics, acting to uphold the profession’s core values: integrity, objectivity, confidentiality, professional competence and due care, and professional behaviour.

However, there will always be some who act unethically and unacceptably. High profile ethical issues have highlighted the need to strengthen the awareness, training, and explicit commitment of all members, including affiliates, to professional ethics.

Last year, members voted strongly in favour of changes to our By-Laws and the NZICA rules that will enable CA ANZ to implement the recommendations from the Professional Conduct Framework Review in-full. These included increasing fines for firm events and stronger, more efficient investigative powers for the independent Professional Conduct Committee.

But there is more than can be done. Following engagement with members, our board and council, and careful analysis of the issues over the past year, Going Further – A roadmap to enhanced trust and accountability articulates 14 actions – some of which CA ANZ can implement, and others that require support from government and stakeholders.

For members, actions include:

  • A public commitment for Chartered Accountants
  • Increased transparency of our conduct and disciplinary actions through the Professional Standards Annual Report for Australia, the first of which has already been published on Member and Public Practice Obligations page.
  • Increasing mandatory ethics CPD from two to six hours per triennium and invest in complimentary and paid ethics training resources for members.

There are also recommendations for large firms so they are clear on their obligations, and the roadmap also recognises the role that government plays, in particular implementing the existing recommendations from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services; clarifying ASIC’s jurisdiction when it comes to regulating audit firms; and strengthening whistleblower protections.

While Going Further offers clear immediate steps, it isn’t intended to be the final word. Ethics and ethical behaviour must be an ‘always on’ conversation for CA ANZ, its members and the broader profession.