Professional Code of Conducts
IFA Nigeria develops and promotes the science of Forensic Accountancy, which is a unique blend of education and experience in applying Accounting, Auditing and Investigative Skills to Uncover Truth, Form Legal Opinions and to Assist in Litigation Support
A member shall at all times conduct himself/herself as a person of integrity, honesty and probity. He/she shall observe the principles of this code in such a way that his/her reputation and that of the Association and the Accounting Profession shall be enhanced. The member must maintain a Professional attitude to the performance of his/her responsibilities. A member should be straightforward and honest in all Professional and Business relationship.
A member shall at all time act honestly and in such manner that Employers or Clients are not caused to be misled. Nor shall he in the course of discharging his/her professional duties knowingly or reckless disseminate false or misleading information to third parties.
- PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
It is expected that in his practice as an Accountant or Auditor, a member shall seek at all times to ensure that he/she attains the appropriate levels of competence necessary for the efficient conduct of tasks as are entrusted to him/her by his/her employers or clients.
Every member should maintain a level of technical competence, which will enable him/her to carry out his/her work as a high level of Professionalism. In particular, he/she should carry out such work with a proper regard for the technical and professional standard expected of him/her and he/she should not undertake professional work, which he/her is not himself/herself competent to perform unless he/she obtains such advice and assistance as will enable him/her competently to carry out his/her task.
- INDEPENDENCE AND OBJECTIVITY
A member should exercise his/her profession with independence and objectivity.
He/she must be in a position to give an honest and unbiased opinion.
Under no circumstances must a member knowingly allow his/her name to be associated with a financial statement that is misleading. Pursuant to the above and, in order to exercise his independence, an Accountant in public practice must not:
a) Possess any direct or indirect beneficial interest in the shareholding of a company for which he/she is acting as an Auditor; this restriction is extended to the auditor’s wife and his/her minor children.
b) Accept fees, the amount of which is based on the success of an assignment, except where this cannot be avoided because of legislation, of documentation or agreement to which he is not a party;
c) Accept fees, the amount of which is based on the turnover of the company for which he/she is acting as auditor;
d) Act for any two/opposing parties in respect of a negotiation, claims or a settlement unless the two parties agree;
e) Carry out the work as an auditor concurrently with carrying out work for the client in an executive capacity;
f) Where the terms of service agreement of a member with his or employers are in conflict with this code of conduct, the provision of the Association Professional Code of Conduct shall prevail.
- CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION
a) Unless required by law a member shall not disclose or permit disclosure to any other person, firm or company, any confidential information concerning his employers or his client business without the consent of such employers or the client.
b) Unless required by law, a member shall not use, to the pursuit of his/her personal interest, any confidential information concerning his employer or his/her client.
c) A professional Accountant should respect the confidentiality of information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships and should not
disclose any such information to third parties without proper and specific authority unless there is a legal or professional right or duty to disclose. Confidential information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships should not be used for the personal advantage of the Professional Accountant or third parties.
- PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOUR
A member should comply with the relevant laws and regulations and should avoid any action that may discredit the Accounting Profession.
- MAINTENANCE OF ACCEPTED ETHICAL CONDUCT
Every member should refrain from any actions which might bring the Association into disrepute or which unfortunately prejudices the interest of fellow members. In particular:
a) Members must accept responsibility for all their actions whether as employers or on behalf of clients in a professional capacity.
b) Subject to the provisions of the Country’s laws and general public interest, members should, at all times, place the interest of the employers or clients above their own.
c) Members engaged in public practice should, at times, bear in mind the legitimate interest of fellow members by refraining from: –
i) Soliciting for client;
ii) Making an offer of services other than accounting work of the client to the member;
iii) Accepting an audit hitherto carried out by any other member without first ascertaining whether there existed any professional reasons why they should not accept the appointment;
iv) Quoting a fee for an assignment before being appointed and without carrying out an initial survey;
- v) Giving commission, fee or reward directly or indirectly to a third party not being either his/her employee or another Public Accountant in return for the introduction of a client;
vi) Putting forward, as his partners, members who do not, in fact, practice in association with him.
A member shall not advertise his/her professional accounting services or skills. A member may place advertisement when: –
a) Seeking staff, a partnership or salaried employment; or
b) Acting on behalf of a client.
However Announcement in the Institute’s journal is permitted and for announcement in the Institute journal the followings are permit for announcements:
a) The opening of a new office changes in the membership of a firm and changes in the address of a firm;
b) Members’ appointments.
A member may be listed in any directory provided that neither the directory itself nor the member’s entry therein is capable of their construed as an advertisement of his professional skills.
Entries in such Directory should be limited to the name; address and professional description of the member together with such other information as is necessary to enable a user of the directory make contact with him.
- LITERATURE PRODUCED BY MEMBER FIRM
Professional Literature produced by members must accord with professional good taste. Literature describing services rendered and technical Literature may be distributed to clients or to other practicing accountants only or on request by non-clients.
- DESCRIPTION AND DESIGNATORY LETTERS
a) A member may use his/her designatory letters at all time and describe himself/herself personally as a “Certified Accountant” as the case may be. In this connection the designatory letters of the Association FFA for Fellow and CFA for Associate must be used. Member admitted to the Nigerian Association on the basis of their membership of recognized overseas Professional Accounting Bodies are allowed to use the designatory letters of such bodies in addition to those of the Association.
- b) An accountancy practice in which all the partners are members of the appropriate category of the Institute may be described as “Certified
Accountants” or “Registered Accountants” as the case may be. Where a practice is so described, no additional words of any description may be used.
- c) A member who holds a national or service honour (such as O.O.N, C.F.R., M.O.N. etc) or relevant academic degree (e.g. B.Sc, M.B.A., M.A., M.N.I., Ph.D., Dip. etc) is entitled to use the appropriate designatory letters after his/her name.
Reference to such honours or awards would however be inappropriate in signing reports or other expression of Professional opinion.
- SIGN-BOARDS AND NAME-PLATES
Name-plates and sign-boards should only contain the name of the firm followed by the words “Certified Accountant” or “Registered Accountant” as the case may be. Members should avoid large and unusual name-plates that may appear to be tantamount to undesirable advertisement.
- CORPORATE PRACTICE
There is no restriction on Corporate Practice as an unlimited liability company other than in relation to any aspect of professional work the corporate practice of which is prohibited by the Law. All shares in such practice must be beneficially held by Fellows or Associate members of the Institute. A member in corporate practice is subject to the same ethical and other requirements as a member practicing as an individual.