Accountancy body warns, don’t forget about causes of financial crisis | ACCA | ACCA Global
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However business activity is regulated, decisions will always, ultimately, be taken by individuals.
—John Davies, head of technical, ACCA

Don’t forget about causes of crisis when talking about cuts, warns global accountancy body

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) today publishes a collection of essays from experts in the public and private sectors assessing the role of ethical corporate behaviour in risk management and governance. 

The paper, Risk & Reward: Shared Perspectives, features contributions that address how value-based principles can be applied and how they may impact on business performance and the interests of stakeholders.

“In the aftermath of the financial crisis, we have seen a huge focus on structural matters, most obviously the regulation of the banking sector", says report editor John Davies, ACCA's head of technical. "But however business activity is regulated, decisions will always, ultimately, be taken by individuals. As we have seen, this is where the regulatory process can collapse."

"In the context of trying to ensure that material risks are better identified and managed than they have been in the past, this dimension of behavioural risk needs to be recognised as being crucial to the process of risk management, as well as to the wider framework of good governance. The paper aims to stimulate debate in that area.”

The paper includes eleven contributions from ACCA, PwC, the Audit Commission, the European Commission, FairPensions and others. 

Under discussion are questions about how ethical performance can be measured, how ethical risks can be identified and managed, and the importance of ethical leadership from the top. The paper also points to the need for entities in both the public and the private sectors to operate with a clear sense of values.

“The issue of ethical leadership from the top is a common theme in Shared Perspectives,” adds John Davies. “Guidance, standards, and supervision may be put in place to regulate what businesses do, but really whether or not they operate in a way that is in tune with the long-term interests of a business and their stakeholders is down to the behaviour of an entity's lead actors.”

Shared Perspectives is a follow up to 2010’s Risk & Reward: Tempering the Pursuit of Profit, which explored corporate planning and accountability and the risks that businesses need to identify and manage. 

Copies of both reports can be found in the Related documents box at the bottom of this page.