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Do you behave ethically?
How often do you ‘observe’ unethical behaviour at work?
Research by Accountancy Europe (formerly known as the Federation of European Accountants) found that one in five young professional accountants see unethical behaviour either ‘frequently’ or ‘every day’. Another 33% encounter it ‘sometimes’.
The most frequent unethical behaviour observed by young professionals is conflict of interest (44%). This is closely followed by people not following rules, regulations and procedures (42%). More worrying, perhaps, was the manipulation of information and undue pressure, which both came in as the third most-seen bad trait (at 27% each).
The study also asked if there was a need to behave more ethically in young professionals’ day-to-day working life. Some 26% of respondents said ‘yes, definitely’. Another 43% said ‘yes, in some situations’. However, some 27% of respondents felt that this was not really necessary.
Accountancy Europe said that the comments reveal that some respondents deplore the focus of their firm and/or company on profits or on compliance with the law instead of on ethical behaviour. Several respondents also claimed that time pressure was preventing ethical behaviour.
• The Federation of European Accountants (FEE) has changed its name to Accountancy Europe. Visit the new website for information – www.accountancyeurope.eu
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