CPA Welcome Ethics Research Report


Today, the Chartered Accountants Ireland Educational Trust (CAIET) an independent body registered under the Charities Act released an Ethics Research Report. CPA Ireland and Chartered Accountants Ireland participated in the research.

Pictured at the launch (l-r) are Feargal McCormack President, Chartered Accountants Ireland, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D and CPA Ireland President, Cormac Mohan.
The report was carried out by independent researchers Dr. Eleanor O’Higgins and Mr Matt Kavanagh.
Key research findings include:
1.    The ethical awareness, challenges and concerns facing Professional Accountants
2.    The motivations and influences in relation to ethics in carrying on the Profession
3.    The types of ethical dilemmas which Professional Accountants encounter in practice and business and how they deal with them
4.    The role ethics plays in the formation and maintence of professional competences of Professional Accountants
5.    The level of interaction which Professional Accountants have with codes of ethics
Recommendations from the report include:
1.    Develop a databank of practical case studies based on real life ethical scenarios
2.    Establish ethical role models
3.    Introduce a mandatory, but accessible, ethics component to Continued Professional Development (CPD) or post qualification training requirements
4.    Ensure training for accounting students and Professional Accountants contains relevant and insightful ethics content
5.    Improve engagement with Professional Accountants in relation to their professional ethics
6.    Develop professional networking opportunities in relation to ethics for potentially more isolated Professional Accountants
7.    Develop practical supports to assist Professional Accountants in effectively addressing ethical issues
8.    Provide a confident Professional Body ‘live’ support service
9.    Improve understanding of Professional Bodies role in providing ethics support to members
10.    Tailor ethics supports to improve access to Professional Body’s Code of Ethics
Commenting on the report, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys thanked the researchers for their work on this important project. “The findings of this important piece of research give an honest appraisal of ethics in the accountancy profession. We are all too familiar with the impact of decisions where short-term considerations overcame due care and integrity and we are still dealing with the consequences. Society looks to professionals like accountants to adhere to the highest standards without fear or favour, and we trust the professional bodies concerned will implement all the recommendations.”

Speaking about the report, Cormac Mohan, President of CPA Ireland said “It is encouraging that 87% of accountants responding to this research felt their employers were strongly supportive of ethical behaviour. However throughout their careers 94% of accountants say they have or encountered some level of unethical behaviour. Therefore providing accountants with the tools and guidance for how to react to any unethical behaviour they observe must be a priority of the profession.”
“This research has also given a loud endorsement for enhanced ethics education and training for the accountancy profession. At CPA Ireland we have been innovating our education offering and are revising our syllabus, where ethics will be front and centre. We have been consistently calling for a revision of the Leaving Cert syllabus for accountancy and this too should place an important emphasis on ethics.”
“By publishing this report we are opening an important dialogue about ethics which I believe will be very valuable for the long term integrity of the Profession.”
As an Accountancy Body with over 530 practices, CPA Ireland will ensure that it is providing a diverse range of ethics supports to our members. As part of the CPA Ireland technical query service, one of the key supports to members, is that they can call in confidence to discuss any ethical concerns or dilemmas that might arise and be provided with advice and best practice guidelines. 
Read the report here

To contact a member of the Technical Query Service, please call 01 4251000 or email