What to do when facing an ethical conflict?

The professional accountant faced with any of the ethical dilemmas listed on the previous page is in a most uncomfortable position. What should he/she do?

The Code requires the accountant to respond to an issue and gives guidance on how they should consider a response.  Inaction or silence may well be a further breach of the Code. It advises us that, when faced with an ethical conflict the professional accountant should consider the following areas in making a plan of action to respond to the issue:

  • relevant facts
  • ethical issues involved
  • fundamental principles related to the matter in question (an ethical conflict often involves more than one fundamental principle)
  • established internal procedures
  • alternative courses of action