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Complexity and the professional accountant: Practical guidance for ethical decision-making

Published on: Sep 02, 2021

As the world becomes more complex, maintaining ethical standards becomes both more challenging and increasingly important. To help guide financial professionals, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) have released Complexity and the professional accountant: Practical guidance for ethical decision-making, the first in a series of four thought leadership pieces.

This initial publication developed by CPA Canada builds on a collaborative exploratory paper and global roundtable event, called Ethical Leadership in an Era of Complexity and Digital Change, held in conjunction with ICAS and IFAC. The first of the series addresses key themes presented in the exploratory work, leveraging the event discussions and recommendations, to offer practical guidance for professional accountants, accounting organizations, educators and employers.

The development of Complexity and the professional accountant: Practical guidance for ethical decision-making was also informed by the ongoing work of the Technology Working Group of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) and the diverse views of stakeholders gathered through its extensive outreach.

Complexity and the professional accountant: Practical guidance for ethical decision-making, along with the collaborative exploratory paper, a summary of the February 2021 event, including an on-demand recording and additional resources, are all available on the IFAC Knowledge Gateway.

The upcoming papers in the series will cover the following interconnected but distinct topics:

  • Technology is a double-edged sword
  • Identifying and mitigating bias and mis-/disinformation
  • Mindset and enabling skills

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