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Why ACCA is putting Ethics first

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ACCA is putting ethics top of the agenda in a campaign to highlight its crucial relationship to business success.

The power of ethics has never been greater.

The drivers for this are clear. Consumers and governments are sharpening their focus on ethical and sustainability issues. Buying habits are changing. Regulations are tightening. And the impact of businesses on society is under more scrutiny than it has ever been from the media, consumers, governments and their own employees.

Meanwhile, if they are to survive, businesses must identify and adapt to digital advances such as the use of artificial intelligence, which bring with them new challenges to the professional ethical stance.

‘We’re delighted again to shine the light on ethics globally,’ said Helen Brand OBE, ACCA chief executive. ‘ACCA accountants have leading knowledge in ethical issues combined with a wider view of business success that covers financial, ethical, digital and sustainability issues. We’re at the leading edge of this change, working with our partners to equip our students and members with the right tools, skills and knowledge to succeed.’

‘For a long time, we have placed ethics and professionalism central to our qualification. We have an ethics and professional skills module, introduced in 2007 and updated in 2017, which students have to take in order to become an ACCA member.’

For this year’s Global Ethics Day, which took place on 16 October, ACCA created a range of learning and development tools to support students on this crucial topic. Our three-month focus on the critical relationship between professional ethics and business success includes a webinar, reviews of ethics-related films and video interviews of global CEOs (in partnership with the Carnegie Council for Ethics).


The need for ethical leadership has never been greater. Digital advances, tightening regulation and changing consumer behaviour have introduced new ethical complexities to the ever changing business world.

First published in Student Accountant, October 2019.

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