ACCA articles Ethically speaking

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Ethically speaking
  by student accountant
  01 Jun 2006 Professionalism, ethics and workplace achievements are at the heart of the new ACCA Qualification. This reflects the high importance that society - both business and the public at large - places on the ethical behaviour of accountancy professionals.
  To give ethics greater prominence in the new qualification, ACCA has taken a unique three-pronged approach, comprising: a dedicated paper at the Professional level
   a unique online module that will present students with challenging real-life ethical
   dilemmas tailored practical experience requirements.
   This approach to students’ ethical development means ACCA’s professional qualification meets the educational standards and guidelines set out by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). These stipulate that professional accountants should first acquire ethics knowledge, then develop ethical sensitivity, then use ethical judgement to evaluate situations, and finally should demonstrate ethical behaviour through implementing decisions appropriately. Commenting on ACCA’s new approach to ethics, Clare Minchington, managing director of education, learning and development at ACCA, said: ‘The ACCA Qualification will provide the knowledge, skills, and professional values for finance professionals working in both the public and private sectors. It contains a challenging mix of performance objectives, concentrating on professional values, ethics, and governance. These are the essential skills needed for the finance profession as it moves towards strengthened codes of conduct, regulation, and legislation. ‘After the accounting scandals of recent years, it’s vital for the accountants and finance professionals of tomorrow to be equipped to operate in an industry subject to ever-closer scrutiny. Our new qualification prepares the way for the professional accountant and I’m especially delighted with the online Professional Ethics module because it is a unique offering from a professional accountancy body.’
  Ethical development through the syllabus
  Ethical theoretical knowledge will be developed through Paper P1, Professional Accountant, a completely new exam and the first paper that students take at the Professional level. The paper assesses four main areas - governance, internal control, risk, and ethics. The paper acts as the gateway syllabus into the Professional level, placing the other technical areas and specialist options into a wider professional, organisational, and societal context. The syllabus builds on the technical skills and knowledge acquired at the Fundamentals level, where ethics, corporate governance, internal audit, control, and risk will have been briefly introduced in a subject specific context.
  The Professional Accountant syllabus begins by examining the whole area of governance within organisations, in the broad context of the agency relationship. This aspect of the syllabus focuses on the respective roles and responsibilities of directors and officers in relation to organisational stakeholders. It also examines the role of accounting and auditing as support and control functions. The syllabus explores internal review, control, and feedback to implement and support effective governance, including compliance issues related to decision-making and decision-support functions. The recognition, assessment, and control of risk as a key aspect of responsible management is also examined. Finally, the syllabus covers personal and professional ethics, ethical frameworks, and professional values as applied in th

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