By Caroline Nassuuna
Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda
Accountancy practitioners have been reminded about the need to conduct themselves professionally. This was during the virtual Practitioners’ Forum that was organised by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) on 17 January 2024. The aim was to refresh the minds of practitioners regarding the value of professional conduct during their practices.
According to CPA Nobert Kagoro, a Partner at Deloitte & Touche Uganda, accountancy practitioners face several professional ethical dilemmas but these can be overcome if they abide by the ethical training that they undergo, recommended by ICPAU.
He also pointed out the consequences of unethical conduct among practitioners. These are not only limited to appearing before courts of law, but also involve losing valuable time that would have been invested in serving clients; appearing before the disciplinary committee which results in one facing strenuous curtailments, among others.
“It is important to conduct oneself ethically, in the accountancy profession, because it develops trust towards practitioners which is a bedrock for business in the accountancy profession. It also upholds professional integrity and promotes accountability and transparency,” said CPA Kagoro.
Accountancy practitioners were also cautioned against accepting hospitality in terms of gifts from their clients as these are likely to compromise their independence and professional conduct. Being independent of clients enables practitioners to avoid making wrong ethical decisions.
During the Forum, the Secretary/CEO of ICPAU, CPA Derick Nkajja, emphasised the practitioners’ role in society that involves creating value in the spaces in which they serve.
“Always be mindful of the value we hold as a profession in the country. We stand to be counted as the main players in the economy of this country, both as professional individuals and as an institute,” remarked CPA Nkajja.
Practitioners were challenged to always consider the logic behind their ethical rules, even if it is as simple as dress code or presentation before clients.
The participants shared some of the ethical dilemmas they face during accountancy practice. They also expressed their gratitude to the Institute for being timely in addressing their needs, especially by organising the forum at the start of the year.