Boards must use ethics to drive value, say accountants

“MORAL COURAGE” is required within corporate boardrooms to drive value, a global group of accountants has declared.

The digital age and subsequent prevalence of social media mean there is a direct link between ethics and value creation, according to institutes group Chartered Accountants Worldwide.

Ethics focus emerged as a key factor from an international summit held in London where senior executives discussed the key issues facing future finance professionals.

“The digital age means that everyone is under scrutiny, all of the time, and issues can escalate through social media like wildfire,” said Pat Costello, chairman of Chartered Accountants Worldwide.

“The right decisions need to be taken in real time – it’s no longer enough to rely on the traditional hierarchies. This means we need to foster a culture where people are trained to know what the right thing to do is when a challenge presents itself. A culture of ethics certainly starts in the boardroom, but it can’t stop there.”

Finding a line between tax mitigation and avoidance was also seen as a critical issue. The report stated: “…A new kind of economics – reputational economics – is now part of boardroom agendas. And it is here to stay.”

The report Critical Success Factors for Tomorrow’s Business Leaders can be found here.

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