November 25 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Young professionals face ethics challenge, says ICAEW

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has issued new research that indicates millennials working in finance have a strong desire that their profession is recognised as having strong ethics.

This comes above factors such as adding value to the economy in their list of preferences, according to the poll.

Previous poll pressure

Previously, global job board CareersinAudit.com had polled 1,700 accountants worldwide, of which 400 were based in the UK.

Their survey found that nearly half (48%) reported being personally pressurised or knowing of a colleague who had been asked to ignore an adjustment that should have been made to a set of accounts.

Another 40% claimed to be aware of a senior staff member within their organisation deliberately choosing to make a commercial result for the company or client even though it could be an unethical one.

ICAEW research

The new research from ICAEW suggests attitudes amongst the younger generation of accountancy professionals (millennials) will change the face of the industry, with the age group being expected to make up 40% of the UK workforce by 2020.

The institute polled a sample of aspiring and newly qualified accountants and found that 29% said their top ambition for the profession was for it to demonstrate a strong ethical position.

Trust was a priority for 16% and professionalism for 13%.

ICAEW director Hazel Garvey said: "Millennials in finance have a long-term vision. It’s encouraging that tomorrow’s would-be finance leaders are keen to uphold an ethical reputation particularly at a time when there is a need to improve trust in business."

Erin O’Neill

Erin O’Neill is an LSBF News Writer who reports on small business, careers, technology and education news.

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