The ACCA Rulebook contains the bye-laws, regulations and Code of Ethics and Conduct with which members are required to comply.
The ACCA Rulebook sets out the fundamental principles in the same way as the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) Code.
The five fundamental principles set out in the ACCA Rulebook are:
- Integrity - being straightforward and honest in all professional and business relationships
- Objectivity - not allowing bias, conflicts of interest or undue influence of others to override professional or business judgements
- Professional Competence and Due Care - to maintain professional knowledge and skill at a level required to ensure that a client or employer receives competent professional service based on current developments in practice, legislation and techniques and act diligently and in accordance with applicable technical and professional standards
- Confidentiality – to respect the confidentiality of information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships and, therefore, not disclose any such information to third parties without proper and specific authority, unless there is a legal or professional right or duty to disclose, nor use the information for the personal advantage of the professional accountant or third parties
- Professional Behaviour – to comply with relevant laws and regulations and avoid any action that discredits the profession.
However, it is recognised that pressure often builds on a person to act in a less than ethical way, and it can be very difficult to avoid breaching a fundamental principle when one is ‘up against the wall’. Therefore, the importance of not recognising threats to those fundamental principles needs to be recognised. Section 100 in part 3 of the ACCA Rulebook assists members in identifying situations that need to be managed, and this help comes in the form of the 'conceptual framework'.