This year's Global Ethics Day (17 October 2018) is an opportunity for organisations and institutions worldwide to host talks and events that highlight the importance of ethics in different industries.

ACCA is leading the way for the accounting profession – it has teamed up with the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and the CFA Institute to mark the occasion. The partnership has produced a film interview series called "Ethics in business: in their own words", and ACCA Singapore and ACCA Hong Kong are running film festivals throughout October, all to remind accountants just how important their ethical responsibilities are. But what are these ethical responsibilities, and what guidance can finance professionals follow?

Well, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) has just published a substantial rewrite of its global code of ethics for professional accountants. We'll give you a quick rundown of the key changes, so you know what you need to swot up on to ensure you behave ethically in a globalised world. The IESBA's new code includes:

  1. Revised "safeguards" provisions better aligned to threats to compliance with the fundamental principles
  2. New and revised sections dedicated to professional accountants in business (PAIBs), and clear guidance for such accountants regarding the relevant provisions
  3. New guidance to emphasise the importance of understanding facts and circumstances when exercising professional judgment
  4. New guidance to explain how compliance with the fundamental principles supports the exercise of professional scepticism in an audit or other assurance engagements

The IESBA has also issued new inducement provisions. In short, the revised provisions ban accountants from offering or accepting inducements where there is actual or perceived intent to improperly influence the behaviour of the recipient, ie cause them to act unethically. The new framework also clarifies the meaning of an inducement, which can range from a fairly small act of hospitality to a much larger (and illegal!) act, such as a bribe.

With a revised ethics code and a range of ACCA events on offer, there's plenty to look up and get your teeth into on this year’s Global Ethics Day and beyond.

Find out more about Global Ethics Day and the activities the ACCA is hosting: https://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/cam/global-ethics-day.html

Take a look at the IESBA's revised ethics code here: https://www.ethicsboard.org/