Moral courage to drive value needed in boardroom, says accountants group
Corporate boardrooms must use "moral courage" to drive forward value, according to a global group of accountants.
The group, Chartered Accountants Worldwide, believes that the prevalence of social media and the overall culture of the digital age mean that there is now a direct link between value creation and ethics.
Although environmental and green issues have been recognised as genuine consumer concerns for some time now, the new focus on wider ethics and values was raised at an international accountancy sector summit held in London.
Senior executives from a range of firms and organisations honed in on key issues that future finance professionals face and highlighted this particular area as a key factor.
Pat Costello, chairman of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, said: "The digital age means that everyone is under scrutiny, all of the time, and issues can escalate through social media like wildfire."
"The right decisions need to be taken in real time - it's no longer enough to rely on the traditional hierarchies. This means we need to foster a culture where people are trained to know what the right thing to do is when a challenge presents itself. A culture of ethics certainly starts in the boardroom, but it can't stop there," Costello explained.
The recent high profile concerns about tax avoidance was also identified as an issue that needs to be addressed, with the need for finding a line between tax avoidance and mitigation.
The group's report came to the conclusion that "...A new kind of economics - reputational economics - is now part of boardroom agendas. And it is here to stay."