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Ethics and Excellence

Ethics and Excellence

ethicsexcellence“Ethics and Excellence” is the theme for the 67th Annual National Convention of Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) held in Butuan City, Philippines last November 28 to December 1, 2012. The event focuses on the importance of ethics and excellence in the practice of CPAs in their selected profession – Commerce and industry, Education, Public Practice, or Government.

In the event, a speech by Teresita J. Herbosa was delivered focusing on Ethics and Excellence. In her speech, it was stressed that one cannot exist with the other. According to her, upholding Ethics and pursuing Excellence is appropriate and timely to address the challenges of modern times where regulations and standards become more stringent, competition within profession abound, and where the public demands more from the professional services of the accountants. She further said that these are the present day realities that accountants find themselves in and how they respond to these challenges reflect the values that they espouse. In a nut shell, they must excel but they must always keep their core values intact.

There are many examples of great leaders who were “excellent” yet failed due to lack of ethics. For the past decades, various scandals involving large companies like Enron Corporation and WorldCom, along with its auditors, have collapsed. The root cause of these collapse can be summarized in one word — Greed. It is sad to mention that most, if not all, of its leaders are graduates of prestigious universities and have various awards, and are considered “Excellent” in their profession. Despite all of these, they lack integrity, which is one of the most important factor of leadership. They neglected ethics and chose to be under greed instead. With all of these scandals that happened, governing bodies, not just in the US, but all around the world, became stringent with their laws and focused on strict implementation of Ethics.

As defined, Ethics involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. Professional ethics is a set of standards adopted by a professional community. Professional ethics are regulated by standards, which are often referred to as codes of ethics. As professionals, CPAs  adopt a code of ethics that govern them when providing a service to the public. The code of ethics is very important because it gives them boundaries that they have to stay within in their professional careers. The one problem with the code of ethics is that they can’t always have the answers black and white. Sometimes there are grey areas where the answers aren’t so simple.

So, what’s in it for accountants in Davao? As CPA or accountants in davao, or anywhere else in the world, we should always ask ourselves, “Is it ethical?”, “Am I doing the right thing?”, and most importantly “Am I honoring God?” These questions may serve as a guide not just in being ethical but also being excellent.




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