Poverty reduction may be an idea in every political agenda just until they win the election and then it’s about reducing poverty of the poor parliamentarians! Bribery & corruption has a destructive effect on economic growth and erodes public confidence in government, the police & the judiciary.
IFAC the international body of accountants has published its research on how the accounting profession is playing a major role in tackling corruption, recently. They say that the positive role played by accountants worldwide in the fight against corruption is clear, and professionalism is highlighted as an essential component for success. Professional accountants are one group among a number of vital actors in the economy, including business leaders, governments, and the financial sector, that are key to tackling corruption.
KEY FINDINGS FROM IFAC- “THE ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION– PLAYING A POSITIVE ROLE IN TACKLING CORRUPTION”
Where the governance architecture is stronger, the role played by professional accountants in tackling corruption is amplified.
Professional accountants are a part of the governance architecture that serves to tackle corruption, and their positive contribution is amplified where the rest of that architecture is stronger. The link between the prevalence of professional accountants in the workforce and more favorable scores on the main global measures of corruption is stronger in G-20 countries, and in countries that have adopted anti-money laundering laws in line with international recommendations.
Professional accountants are playing a major, positive role in tackling corruption, along with other key actors in the global economy.
The work of professional accountants is crucial to the governance architecture of economies, and along with other key elements serve to underpin transparency, accountability, and the rule of law. There is a strong link between the percentage of professional accountants in the workforce, and more favorable scores on the main global measures of corruption.
Professional ethics, education, and oversight—at the core of the global accountancy profession—are key to the positive role played in tackling corruption.
Core qualities that make accountancy a global profession are its robust international ethical code, comprehensive educational requirements, and ongoing monitoring and oversight mechanisms. The link with more favorable corruption scores is three times stronger for professional accountants that have committed to these qualities than for individuals who may identify as accountants but do not possess professional qualifications (for example, in countries where professional qualifications are not required, for individuals working in support roles).
Source: IFAC publication.
The adoption and implementation, across all jurisdictions, of International Financial Reporting Standards, International Standards on Auditing, the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, issued bfy the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants® (IESBA®), and IPSAS has contributed to the integrity of the profession.
Higher the number of accountants, better the corruption perception index of countries. Another non formal research finding is a positive relationship between the number of IFAC body accountants and economic performance. Higher number of accountants lead to higher GDP. Naysayers may try to ridicule the idea by citing some unrelated correlation between the number of religious places and pubs. But the reduction of corruption will always lead to better business confidence and better economic performance as it allows everyone to compete on a level playing field. Providing opportunities for many more people to contribute to the economy will uplift many more from poverty and lead to economic growth.
On a negative note any government that does not want to combat corruption may reduce the support for professional accountants of IFAC and recruit non professional accountants to do their job thus leaving much to be desired on the transparency and accountability front.