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Are you behaving ethically?

13 April 2017

How often do you ‘observe’ unethical behavior at work?

Research by Accountancy Europe (formerly known as the Federation of European Accountants) found that one in five young professional accountants see unethical either ‘frequently’ or ‘every day’. Another 33% encounter unethical behaviour sometimes.

The most frequent unethical behaviour observed by young professions was a conflict of interest (44%). This is closely followed by people not following rules, regulations and procedures (42%). More worrying perhaps was the manipulation of information and undue pressure, which both came in as the third most-seen bad trait (at 27% each).

The study also asked if there was a need to behave more ethically in young professionals’ day-to-day working life. Some 26% of respondents said ‘yes definitely’. Another 43% said ‘yes in some situations’. However, some 27% of respondents felt that this was not really necessary.

Accountancy Europe said that the comments reveal that some respondents deplore the focus of their firm and/or company on profits or on compliance with the law instead of on ethical behavior. Several respondents also claimed that time pressure was preventing ethical behavior.

* The Federation of European Accountants (FEE) has changed its name to Accountancy Europe.

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