Written for Accurium by

Nidal Danoun

Ethics is becoming a dominant topic in the professional advice space for multiple good reasons. Primarily as ethics is the foundation of trust and trust is the key foundation of a profession.

We come across many ethical situations in our daily lives. Ethical issues are rarely black or white, and in some cases, ethical issues can remain bubbling under the surface before they become visible to society. Furthermore, ethical choices are not always clear. 

We therefore are better placed to identify ethical issues and deal with them more effectively if we arm ourselves with the right tools, vocabulary and critical thinking that can guide us and improve our awareness of ethical issues. This includes gaining an understanding of ethical theories and principles and their application in practice.

Ethical theories are generally based on philosophical assumptions about what is right or wrong. These theories can either focus on strictly following the rules, the consequences of the decision, the nature of the action or the ethical virtuous characteristics individuals hold themselves to.

Gaining an understanding of ethical theories and their applications is one part of the overall equation. The other important part is for us to engage in critical thinking to allow us to identify and process ethical issues and make better ethical decisions. 

In summary, ethical issues are complex and require us to develop our awareness and to practice ethical thinking. It’s also important to recognise the tension between ethics and self-interest and the power of building our ethical muscle memory.

Professionalism requires not only competency but ethical behaviour and a responsibility for the well-being of others and a commitment to the public good.

Public trust is paramount for a sustainable profession.

Upcoming ethics webinar

Join ethics expert, Nidal Danoun on Tuesday 25 October for a 1 hour webinar ‘Ethics in practice’ focussing on the foundations of ethics including ethics theories and framework, and their application in practice.

This session is valuable for accountants and financial advisers. It will be especially beneficial for CAANZ members who are now required to undertake mandatory ethics training towards their CPD requirements.

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