have just finished the ACCA Professional Ethics module and learnt five key components of ethics from it.
Firstly, I learnt that in order to make ethical decisions, we should think about the kinds of arguments that might influence us when we make decisions. And, we must use the professional ethics of an accountant when making professional decisions.
Secondly, I learnt different types of ethics which can help me identify the way that I make decisions, so that I can recognise my own personal ethics in any professional ethical problem that I may be faced with. In this way, I can mitigate any detrimental impact of my own personal ethics, with a view to a more objective approach.
Thirdly, I learnt that there are two major approaches to solve ethical dilemmas: one based on rules, and one based on principles. One of the differences between the two approaches is that in a rules-based approach, we look for a rule that prohibits us from doing whatever it is we are considering. In a principles-based approach, we have to think more widely and consider whether or not a principle is being violated or even threatened.
In many ways the principles-based approach is more reliable in that if an action is planned, its appropriateness is assessed. A principles-based framework is a more flexible approach, and can cover new situations that might not have been thought of. It can sometimes seem more difficult, because we need to carefully think through every situation. ACCA follows a principles-based approach, and that is the approach ACCA recommends that we take as a professional accountant.
Fourthly, I learnt ACCA’s fundamental principles. The fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, and professional behaviour are international standards that accountants who are members of IFAC professional bodies agree to follow, through implementation of the IFAC Code of Ethics. Professing to higher standards of behaviour...
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