ACCA code of ethics and conduct
The ACCA Code of Ethics and Conduct (the Code) is binding on all our members and students, as well as any partner (or director) in an ACCA practice.
ACCA has adopted the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards), issued by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA). However, the IESBA Code is augmented with additional requirements and guidance that are appropriate to ACCA and its members.
How to use the Code
The Code is set out in three sections:
- Section A: International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards)
- Section B: Professional Accountants in Public Practice
- Section C: Professional Accountants in Business
As a professional accountant, you’ll probably find the guidance in any part of the Code applies to your specific circumstances.
If you fail to comply with the Code (incorporating the IESBA code), you'll be liable to disciplinary action. Two committees have been appointed by Council to enforce our ethical standards: Disciplinary Committee and Appeal Committee. These committees derive their powers from our bye-laws. If you don't meet the standards expected of you, you may be required to answer a complaint before our Disciplinary Committee.
Section A comprises the entire IESBA code, including some augmentations relevant to ACCA registered students, affiliates and members.
The IESBA code contains the following material:
Part 1 – Complying with the Code, Fundamental Principles and Conceptual Framework, which includes the fundamental principles and the conceptual framework and is applicable to all professional accountants.
Part 2 – Professional Accountants in Business, which sets out additional material that applies to professional accountants in business when performing professional activities. Professional accountants in business include professional accountants employed, engaged or contracted in an executive or non-executive capacity in, for example:
- Commerce, industry or service.
- The public sector.
- The not-for-profit sector.
- Regulatory or professional bodies.
Part 2 is also applicable to individuals who are professional accountants in public practice when performing professional activities pursuant to their relationship with the firm, whether as a contractor, employee or owner.
Part 3 – Professional Accountants in Public Practice, which sets out additional material that applies to professional accountants in public practice when providing professional services.
International Independence Standards, which sets out additional material that applies to professional accountants in public practice when providing assurance services, as follows:
- Part 4A – Independence for Audit and Review Engagements, which applies when performing audit or review engagements.
- Part 4B – Independence for Assurance Engagements Other than Audit and Review Engagements, which applies when performing assurance engagements that are not audit or review engagements.
Glossary, which contains defined terms (together with additional explanations where appropriate) and described terms which have a specific meaning in certain parts of the Code.
Sections B and C
Section B holds supplementary requirements and guidance relevant specifically to professional accountants in public practice, and Section C holds supplementary requirements relevant specifically to professional accountants in business.