The Director of Human Resources for Volta River Authority (VRA), Dr. Mrs. Stella Agyenim-Boateng, has admonished Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG) members that the accounting profession must be synonymous with ethical standards and workplace behaviour, further stressing that accountants have not glossed over their key role as custodians and gatekeepers of key resources in business operations.
“There is not an iota of doubt that the accounting profession is and must be synonymous with ethical behaviour and ensuring members cultivate eagle-eyes which can spot every detail that is not congruent with acceptable organisational and workplace behaviour and standards.
“When ethical behaviour is embedded in the organisation at all levels, in all circumstances and at all times – but not on ‘as and when’ basis – then and only then can it become a culture,” she indicated.
Dr. Stella Agyenim-Boateng made this pronouncement while speaking to the theme ‘Organisational ethics and workplace culture’, at the ICAG Presidential Luncheon 2019, held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra.
The ICAG Presidential Luncheon is an annual event that provides a platform to build networks and renew relationships between members and the leadership, as well as share ideas for individual and organisational revival.
She also added that to achieve the desired organisational or workplace culture with ethical outcomes, initiatives must be taken – among which are showing total commitment to building the right culture to support sustainable organisational ethics by leadership; communicating in no uncertain terms the expected non-negotiable ethical behaviour that employees and other stakeholders must exhibit in the discharge of their duties; and clearly spelt out policies.
Other initiatives are: provision of the virtual fencing needed to encourage and protect employees that report, speak-up and call out behaviours considered unethical and inappropriate without having them to live in fear of being unduly exposed/punished; and ethical capability reinforcers, seminars, workshops and programmes to train and re-train employees and other stakeholders on standards of conduct and behaviour which are acceptable.
The President of ICAG, Kwame Adom-Frimpong, reiterated that accounting is not just about auditing but also helping individuals and businesses by providing advisory services, which include promoting and adhering to high ethical standards and workplace culture.
“ICAG is responsible for regulating the accounting profession, of which members are to renew their licences yearly; and every member that is blameable would not get his licence renewed; and without the licence one cannot practice.
“Organisational ethics and workplace culture are key ingredients that support business growth and development. The role of the Accounting Professional, and indeed of all stakeholders, cannot be overemphasised. It is time we all pursued ethical behaviour and set high ethical standards at the workplace,” he indicated.
Organisational ethics was defined as the way day-to-day activities at the workplace are carried out, or the principles and code of conduct that govern the behaviour of stakeholders in the entity.
Also present at the event were Professor Godfred A. Bokpin, a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School; the Chief Executive Officer, ICAG, Kwasi Agyemang; as well as all the present and some past Council Members of ICAG.