Finance directors back client confidentiality.

More than eight out of 10 FDs have backed the principle of client confidentiality, which is under threat from new laws.

This week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question found an overwhelming 84% of more than 520 financial bosses at the head of small to medium-sized UK companies voted yes when asked if client confidentiality should remain sacrosanct.

Last week the Home Office admitted accountants’ client confidentiality will have to be compromised as a result of anti-fraud legislation announced in the Queens’ speech.

The survey revealed FDs believe client confidentiality ‘underpins the profession’ and its ethical standing.

But FDs both for and against said exceptions could be justified in the case of illegal activity.

FD Stuart Chapman of International Baccalaureate said: ‘The only exception should be a statutory order from a court of law that requires the disclosure of information about a client.’

Less than one in 10 FDs thought client confidentiality was not sacrosanct.

FD Simon Sefron of Lester Associates said: ‘If they are aware that fraud is being committed, accountants should not be bound to keep this confidential.’

Queen’s speech, page 6.

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