Ethics and Professional Standards Centre of Excellence

Content Summary

Professional accountants must act ethically and have an obligation to act in the public interest.

The ethical framework which accountants operate within is contained in APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (the Code). It distinguishes the profession and is applicable to all members and aspiring members. The Code offers specific guidance to professionals practising in various accounting disciplines.

Integral to the accounting profession is trust built on the principles of integrity, objectivity, confidentiality, professional behaviour, professional competence and due care.

Members of the three professional accounting bodies in Australia must meet their professional and ethical obligations outlined in the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards as set by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB). The APESB is an independent standard setter which works in the public interest.

The experience and expertise of the Centre of Excellence guides CPA Australia's approach to influencing policy and developing strategy with public interest at the heart of its objectives.

Role and purpose

The Ethics and Professional Standards Centre of Excellence role is to primarily act in an advisory capacity to:

  • provide guidance on policy and issues relating to ethics and professional standards
  • identify current and emerging issues relevant to the profession
  • provide commentary and feedback on public consultation
  • provide thought leadership
  • be a strategic sounding board for management
  • provide input on possible CPA Australia products and assist development of outputs
  • Improve awareness of professional and ethical standards and issues
  • Increase collaboration with domestic and international standards setting boards to increase awareness of developments relating to professional & ethical standards measurement
  • Review and analyse trends in the accountancy profession and in the wider economic landscape in order to address ethical issues arising from these trends that impact on the accounting profession

Areas of interest

  • the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants and other related professional standards
  • ethical codes and frameworks
  • regulatory environment and the symbiosis between ethics, law and regulation
  • governance frameworks and the relationship between corporate and organisational culture, behaviour and ethics.

Current members

  • Brendan O'Connell FCPA, Chair
  • Mahesh Balakrishnan CPA
  • Anju De Alwis FCPA
  • Lisa Gill FCPA 
  • John Halliday FCPA
  • Dr Gerard Ilott FCPA
  • Alex Ooi Thiam Poh FCPA
  • Peter Pontikis FCPA
  • Kimberly Singh FCPA
  • Wayne Stokes FCPA