Restoring trust must be priority: IPA

Accountants must regain community trust.

The issue of trust in the accounting profession has perhaps never been more important, particularly in light of the findings in the recent banking royal commission, according to the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).

In his welcome address at the IPA 2018 National Congress in Sydney today, chief executive Andrew Conway emphasised the need for accountants to regain that trust from clients, with community expectations of the profession rising.

“It’s fair to ask the question, I think: are we learning from all of this? Are we learning as an organisation? Are we learning as a profession? Are we learning as individuals from this focus on trust?” Conway said.

“The fact is that organisations around the world, institutions around the world have had declining levels of trust for a number of years. And why haven’t we done anything about it?”

He said accountants have not realised community expectations have risen and therefore have failed to recognise the magnitude of the issue of trust.

The IPA’s role is to arm the sector with the resources and the skills required to provide services to clients and their businesses, he said.

He also warned as community expectations keep rising, so too will regulatory oversight.

“There are regulators sniffing around like never before,” he said.

“Because when we look at the issue of community expectations rising, one of the only levers government have at all levels is to boost regulation.”

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