Fundamental principles in professional ethics

1. Integrity
Auditors should be honest, straightforward and sincere. They should avoid apparent conflict of interest. Auditor should therefore act honestly, reliably and in the public interest.

2. Independence
An attitude of mind characterized by objectivity and integrity. It is very critical especially for auditors. Auditors should be free from influence of managers and/or interest parties, in order to be objective in reporting.

3. Confidentiality
Auditors should maintain secrets of the client affairs by not disclosing information regarding clients business without consent. Equally, information obtained in the course of audit work should not be used for the personal advantage of the auditor or for benefit of the 3rd parties. This implies appropriately protecting information and balancing this with the need for transparency and accountability.

The auditor can do away with this principle under the following circumstances:

  • When consent of the client is obtained.
  • Where disclosure is required by the law.
  • When there is a professional duty to disclose the information.
  • When disclosure is aimed at protecting the professional interest of the auditor in legal proceedings in court of law.
  • When responding to investigations or any inquiry from professional bodies that govern the auditors.
  • When the client is involved in illegal activities.
  • In order to comply with ethical guidelines.
  • When the auditor is required to disclose information to appropriate authorities

4. Competence
Competence means acquiring and maintaining knowledge and skills appropriate for the audit role and acting in accordance with applicable standards with due care. Auditor‘s competence to perform audit work should not be doubted. Cases where inadequate
knowledge relating to some matters in the course of audit, technical experts should be consulted.

5. Objectivity
Auditors should communicate information fairly and impartially. They should approach work with view of being free from bias in reporting.

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