Ethical conduct is at the core of bookkeeping, it is not an optional extra.
Bookkeepers hold a significant position of trust with their clients. They are required to apply their skills and reach informed decisions in relation to the work they do. The decisions they make and the services they provide will likely not impact just themselves and their clients but may have wide-reaching effects on other parties.
The actions of members as individual bookkeepers plays an important role in how the ethics of the profession are viewed by the public. If we do not behave ethically, we lose the public’s trust and confidence, and our standing and influence.
The Code of Ethical Conduct / Ngā Tikanga Matatika (the Code) outlines and defines our obligations as bookkeeping professionals, and the responsibilities we have to others. The Code guides us in 3 key ways:
- It defines what an ethical bookkeeper looks like
- It tells us what we need to do to be ethical practitioners (for example, keep our knowledge and skills up to date); and
- It helps us decide what to do in difficult ethical situations by reference to agreed standards of behaviour.
The Core Principles
The Code provides standards of conduct based on six core principles:
- Practice Competence - Ngā Pūkenga Mahi
- Confidentiality - Tūmataititanga
- Embracing Diversity – Taurima Kanorautanga
- Integrity - Ngākau Pono
- Objectivity - Tōkeketanga
- Professionalism - Ngaiotanga
Compliance to the Code
Adherence to the Code is vital to the reputation of our profession, our members, and the Association. This Code gives the public confidence that our members have agreed to uphold high standards of ethical behaviour, and it is a benchmark by which we can measure expected conduct.
Members of ICNZB are subject to the Code and are required at their annual membership renewal to declare compliance with the Code. Every three years members are required to complete and pass an ethical assessment in order to continue their membership.
As the leading professional body for bookkeepers in New Zealand, ICNZB sets high standards for its members ethical conduct and strongly encourages any individual working as a bookkeeper who may not be a member, to follow the key principles of practices.