All professions have their own professional ethics, we too as a chartered accountant have professional ethics. There is more emphasis on professional ethics by our ICAI to regulate the profession of the chartered accountancy. We all are well aware and masters of professional ethics during our study while becoming the CA. as well as after becoming CA into the profession. As per our ICAI guidelines, some ethics are mandatory and others are re-commendatory. You think that well I am talking about the same yes but adding some practical approach to the ethics with I came across during my practice of last 33 years. The ethics I discussing are all re-commendatory from my side. The professional brothers have to only ask their conscious whether the same to be followed or avoid. I proud myself to follow the same. Some of them are discussed as follows;
Never criticize the fellow brothers:
When a new assignment will come, many a times it will come from client which was earlier looked after by our professional brother. There are many angles why he decides to discontinue the assignment. We are not to be found the reasons. When we begin the assignment see what better we can do without finding and discussing the deficiencies in the services provided by him, knowledge he have, his way of doing the things and so on. Please do not be judgmental to our brothers with or without any reasons. Many a times the client will enjoy such discussions but I assure you that, it will not benefit you in any way. It is better to treat each professional friend always equal or better than you.
Have a talk with the earlier professional brother:
ICAI has made mandatory to communicate and obtain the NOC from the earlier brother before accepting the specific assignment as mentioned in the professional ethics. I advice, to communicate before accepting any/all the assignment. Whenever it is mandatory you can write as well as have a talk with him and in all other cases you can talk with him as a friend. He is the only person who will give the correct picture of the assignment. He may refuse/avoid to talk to you if he has some reservations, but your communication is must as this will develop the approach how to feel to lose where you are winning. Communicate, meet, chat, and call brothers it is must. Give you thanks to him as he is the brother who will give you the start of new.
It is your duty to confirm his all dues are fully paid.
As we are aware, there are number of services we render to our client, other than assurance services or official services. The fees or remuneration of many services is decided at the end of the year. Many a client has habit to treat the services of chartered accountant as the services of the grocery shop where the last due is paid and current is kept outstanding till further material is not taken. When the amount is more, we being confident that the sum will be paid to us, instead of the same we may not be there. In such a situation, it may be possible that, more hidden, not determined, quantified but decided fees will not be paid by the client. In each of such situation, it is our duty to see that the professional brother is paid for all his services rendered. This may be ascertained by auditing the services of few years earlier or with your communication with him, you should inquire him specifically if anything id pending.
Never accept any work till the completion of the earlier assignment period:
If you are approached by the client in between a there are no specific reasons for such a change better refuse than accept. If you are approached for filling of GST returns from Jan refuse till end of the year i.e. March, unless the correct reasons are known and verified by you. This approach will reduce the client confidence that your brother can be removed as and when the client likes. If you refuse and client wait till beginning the new financial year, you will assure that your brother will get paid otherwise many a times neither you nor he will get the fees for the broken period.
Make a deliberate space for your young brothers:
As many of us are aware that in the initial years of our practice, we have done all type of work like writing of books of accounts, preparation of bills for the members of the society which are pity jobs to establish ourselves in to the professional practice. You brothers will surprise to know that I have got opportunity to sign as CA when I become FCA after five years till that time I am doing all the assignments which does not require a CA signature. But this is necessary to establish in earlier years to keep ourselves live. Now I have completed my 33 years of practice and I have taken decision all the assignments where the fees is less than a specific amount or some assignment like stock audit, revenue audit, etc should be refused so that the same will be available to my younger brothers, beginners in to the practice.
Duty to guide, develop confidence to the beginners:
Being seniors in professional practice we are duty bound to guide, educate, and develop confidence in the younger brothers and not to threaten them. Say a young professional brother having just begun two years in to practice has accept some assignment where he is confused whether NOC is required or not as per the professional ethics, and the same is mandatory and earlier brother is a senior member like me. It is my duty to inform him to initiate the NOC and give him the same instead of threatening him with professional miss conducts complaint to the ICAI. Many a times our Ego plays the role. With 10 years’ time to file such a complaint the young fellow will be on his toes till that period. To avoid such a case, It is our duty to guide, inform, educate them instead of explain him what we can do adverse.
Share Full Knowledge:
We have the habit of keeping something with us to keep ourselves better than others so many a times we share only minimum knowledge which only helps to attract the work to us. Many a times we observe that the speakers give their mobile or mail id for further knowledge or sharing in the seminars, this may be due to all the topic may not be possible to explain the schedule time or otherwise to attract specific queries. I know being learned has less time for the others.
However, it is advice to share full knowledge without keeping zero in hand as the more you share the more you acquire. I also advice to the learned to keep specific time or mail id to all the fellow new comers and other brothers for any query with confidentially is protected for better knowledge in the brothers.
Be in professional practice:
Now a day, being in to professional practice is not an attractive preposition. The practice profile is fast changing along with the new acts and their compliance and so on. The CA brotherhood is not known or develops by those in services at various levels and locations but only by those who have dedicated to be in profession by itself. They are only those who notice the changes and its remedies in a short time. The insists on corrective measures and made the required changes to adjust with the fast changing needs of the profession. It is duty bound, to be in professional practice more for the profession than self. If I am in to 33 years of practice, I should be proud for the profession as a whole today than thirty three years ago than what I earn for myself
Hope the practical code and ethics will guide my new beginners in to the profession.