Accountants adopt new code to combat crime

bribery-and-corruptionThe Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) has decided to adopt the “Responding to Non Compliance with Laws and Regulations” (NOCLAR) standard with effect from 15th July 2017 to ensure Sri Lanka is in line with the latest international ethics standards.

It sets out a first-of-its-kind framework to guide professional accountants (PA) in what actions to take in the public interest when they become aware of a potential illegal act, known as non-compliance with laws and regulations, or NOCLAR, committed by a client or employer, the CA said in a statement.

“NOCLAR is seen as an important initiative aimed at safeguarding the accounting profession, and also enhance the reputation and respect of professional accountants across the world.”

“Responding to Non-compliance with Laws and Regulations is an international ethics standard for auditors and other PAs.”

This pronouncement has released by International Ethics Standard Board for Accountants (IESBA) and effective internationally from 15th July 2017, the same day Sri Lanka will also adopt the standard.

“NOCLAR stimulates greater accountability among organizations, help protect stakeholders and the general public from substantial harm resulting from violation of laws and regulations and strengthen the reputation of the profession,” Lasantha Wickremasinghe, president, CA Sri Lanka said.

“This will position accountancy profession to play a greater role addressing financial fraud, money laundering and corruption.”

He also highlighted that this initiative is also in line with the good governance policy of Sri Lanka.

The standard applies to all categories of professional accountants, including auditors, other professional accountants in public practice, and professional accountants in organizations, including those in businesses, government, education, and the not-for-profit sector.

It addresses breaches of laws and regulations that deal with matters such as fraud, corruption and bribery, money laundering, tax payments, financial products and services, environmental protection, and public health and safety.

As a set of ethical standards with global reach it plays a unique role in supporting the accountancy profession in acting in the public interest, the statement added.

“Accountants have been permitted to set aside the duty of confidentiality under the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants in order to disclose NOCLAR to appropriate public authorities in certain circumstances,” Reyaz Mihular, chairman of the Professional Conduct (Ethics) Committee and member of IESBA said. (LBO)

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