Privacy & Code of Ethics
We comply with all of the Professional and Ethical Standards imposed by the Chartered Accountants ANZ, this includes various sections and subsections, including the Code Of Ethics and privacy.
100.5 A Member shall comply with the following fundamental principles:
(a) Integrity – to be straightforward and honest in all professional and business relationships.
(b) Objectivity – to not allow bias, conflict of interest or undue influence of others to override professional or business judgements.
(c) Professional competence and due care – to maintain professional knowledge and skill at the level required to ensure that a client or employer receives competent Professional Activities based on current developments in practice, legislation and techniques and act diligently and in accordance with applicable technical and professional standards.
(d) Confidentiality – to respect the confidentiality of information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships and, therefore, not disclose any such information to third parties without proper and specific authority, unless there is a legal or professional right or duty to disclose, nor use the information for the personal advantage of the Member or third parties.
(e) Professional behaviour – to comply with relevant laws and regulations and avoid any action that discredits the profession.
Each of these fundamental principles is discussed in more detail in Sections 110-150.
110.1 The principle of integrity imposes an obligation on all Members to be straightforward and honest in all professional and business relationships. Integrity also implies fair dealing and truthfulness.
110.2 A Member shall not knowingly be associated with reports, returns, communications or other information where the Member believes that the information:
(a) Contains a materially false or misleading statement;
(b) Contains statements or information furnished recklessly; or
(c) Omits or obscures information required to be included where such omission or obscurity would be misleading.
When a Member becomes aware that the Member has been associated with such information, the Member shall take steps to be disassociated from that information.
110.3 A Member will be deemed not to be in breach of paragraph
110.2 if the Member provides a modified report in respect of a matter contained in paragraph 110.2.
120.1 The principle of objectivity imposes an obligation on all Members not to compromise their professional or business judgement because of bias, conflict of interest or the undue influence of others. 120.2 A Member may be exposed to situations that may impair objectivity. It is impracticable to define and prescribe all such situations. A Member shall not perform a Professional Activity if a circumstance or relationship biases or unduly influences the Member’s professional judgement with respect to that service.
Section 130–Professional competence and due care
130.1 The principle of professional competence and due care imposes the following obligations on all Members:
(a) To maintain professional knowledge and skill at the level required to ensure that clients or employers receive competent Professional Activity; and
(b) To act diligently in accordance with applicable technical and professional standards when providing Professional Activities.
130.2 Competent Professional Activity requires the exercise of sound judgement in applying professional knowledge and skill in the performance of such service. Professional competence may be divided into two separate phases:
(a) Attainment of professional competence; and
(b) Maintenance of professional competence.
130.3 The maintenance of professional competence requires a continuing awareness and an understanding of relevant technical, professional and business developments. Continuing professional development enables a Member to develop and maintain the capabilities to perform competently within the professional environment. 130.4 Diligence encompasses the responsibility to act in accordance with the requirements of an assignment, carefully, thoroughly and on a timely basis. 130.5 A Member shall take reasonable steps to ensure that those working under the Member’s authority in a professional capacity have appropriate training and supervision.
130.6 Where appropriate, a Member shall make clients, employers or other users of the Member’s Professional Activities aware of the limitations inherent in the services.
140.1 The principle of confidentiality imposes an obligation on all Members to refrain from:
(a) Disclosing outside the Firm or employing organisation confidential information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships without proper and specific authority or unless there is a legal or professional right or duty to disclose; and
(b) Using confidential information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships to their personal advantage or the advantage of third parties.
140.2 A Member shall maintain confidentiality, including in a social environment, being alert to the possibility of inadvertent disclosure, particularly to a close business associate or a Close or Immediate Family member.
143.3 A Member shall maintain confidentiality of information disclosed by a prospective client or employer.
140.4 A Member shall maintain confidentiality of information within the Firm or employing organisation.
140.5 A Member shall take reasonable steps to ensure that staff under the Member’s control and persons from whom advice and assistance is obtained respect the Member’s duty of confidentiality.
140.6 The need to comply with the principle of confidentiality continues even after the end of relationships between a Member and a client or employer. When a Member changes employment or acquires a new client, the Member is entitled to use prior experience. The Member shall not, however, use or disclose any confidential information either acquired or received as a result of a professional or business relationship.
140.7 The following are circumstances where Members are or may be required to disclose confidential information or when such disclosure may be appropriate:
(a) Disclosure is permitted by law and is authorised by the client or the employer;
(b) Disclosure is required by law, for example:(i) Production of documents or other provision of evidence in the course of legal proceedings; or(ii) Disclosure to the appropriate public authorities of infringements of the law that come to light; and
(c) There is a professional duty or right to disclose, when not prohibited by law:(i) To comply with the quality review of a member body or professional body;(ii) To respond to an inquiry or investigation by a member body or regulatory body;(iii) To protect the professional interests of a Member in legal proceedings; or(iv) To comply with technical standards and ethics requirements.
The circumstances described in paragraph 140.7 do not take into account Australian legal and regulatory requirements. A Member considering disclosing confidential information about a client or employer without their consent is strongly advised to first obtain legal advice.
140.8 In deciding whether to disclose confidential information, relevant factors to consider include:
(a) Whether the interests of all parties, including third parties whose interests may be affected, could be harmed if the client or employer consents to the disclosure of information by the Member;
(b) Whether all the relevant information is known and substantiated, to the extent it is practicable; when the situation involves unsubstantiated facts, incomplete information or unsubstantiated conclusions, professional judgement shall be used in determining the type of disclosure to be made, if any;
(c) The type of communication that is expected and to whom it is addressed; and
(d) Whether the parties to whom the communication is addressed are appropriate recipients.
Section 150–Professional Behaviour
150.1 The principle of professional behaviour imposes an obligation on all Members to comply with relevant laws and regulations and avoid any action or omission that the Member knows or should know may discredit the profession. This includes actions or omissions that a reasonable and informed third party, weighing all the specific facts and circumstances available to the Member at that time, would be likely to conclude adversely affects the good reputation of the profession.
150.2 In marketing and promoting themselves and their work, Members shall not bring the profession into disrepute. Members shall be honest and truthful and not:
(a) Make exaggerated claims for the services they are able to offer, the qualifications they possess, or experience they have gained; or
(b) Make disparaging references or unsubstantiated comparisons to the work of others.