Integrity is an important fundamental element of the accounting profession. Integrity requires accountants to be honest, candid and forthright with a client and financial information. Accountants are required to restrict themselves from personal gain or advantage using confidential information. While errors or differences in opinion regarding the applicability of accounting laws do exist, professional accountants should avoid the intentional opportunity to deceive and manipulate financial information. Public accounting firms or private companies often develop a code of ethics or conduct for accountants. These ethics and conduct rules ensure all accountants act in a consistent manner. In the absence of specific rules or standards, accountants should review their actions to ensure they are following commonly accepted principles.

In regard to the above, there is an award program coming up for Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in Uganda that I got to learn about yesterday after posting the below-embedded tweets

And it seeks to;

  • raise the profiles of CFOs and the role they play in developing good business and finance practices, embedding environmental and broader social issues into strategic decision making,
  • recognize the essential role that finance functions play in helping to build resilient organizations, driving integrated thinking in decision making and building sustainable business models,
  • create a platform to share best practice, drive awareness, inspire action and develop a community of finance leaders, committed to creating more sustainable outcomes for their organizations.

Looks like a promising award even though I have a problem with the awards system in this Pearl of Africa, they have no real recognizable benefit and this is because awarding people has become an everyday thing. Last week we had a Young Achiever Awards (Lovely event it was. Congratulations to the winners, this is one of the legit awards we have here) that honours the achievements of young people. But we have awards that leave me wondering what the organizers were thinking, like best selfies awards, what is that?! Let me not even write about M7’s Heroes awards and go back to the #CFOsAwards17.

The criteria for these awards are in categories of what a person is being nominated or nominating themselves for, like;

  1. CFO of the year – He/She should have shown financial leadership, outstanding performance over a number of years ( three years I was told) and be the driving force behind the growth and profitability of their, organization, striving for excellence in all aspects of the finance profession.
  2. Public Sector CFO of the year – should be in an NGO, government agency, charity and civil organization with an outstanding financial management track record,
  3. Young CFO of the year – must be less 35 years old,
  4. Finance Transformation Award – must have championed transformative solutions in their finance function and have been successful in redefining the function, made great efforts to become a cost effective, service oriented partner to the business,
  5. Strategy Execution Award- one who has shown agility and resilience in dealing with serious and intense changes in the business environment, enabling the business to successfully adapt to new demands and challenges.

Only two of the above, the CFO of the year and Young CFO categories; have to demonstrate the 7 vital qualities of professional accountants which include; – intelligence, creativity, digital knowledge, emotional intelligence, experience, vision and technical and ethical skills.

I am thinking integrity as it is in many cases was bundled up in ethical skills, why not on the fore front as one of the things that will be looked for, for one to win an award?

This society needs to honour those who uphold moral standards of ‘I don’t take bribes to accept your bid quotation’, or ‘I don’t facilitate payments that are not necessary because I am getting a cut off it’ there is also ‘I uphold my company‘s core value of integrity in regard to money management and don’t issue cheques to facilitate my boss’ side businesses or travels then cover it up as company expenses’. Those are the people that should be honoured not the ones facilitating corruption and embezzlement of funds in their institutions.

The functionalities of the award should allow the nominees to go through an integrity test, one that measures their vulnerabilities towards upholding moral standards and highlight the importance of such values in such professions.

What do you think?

Patricia Kahill

Patricia Kahill is a multipotentialite Christian entrepreneur, Content Marketing Coach and founder of the Content Marketing agency, Kahill Insights that helps business owners create engaging and interactive content items for digital platforms with a focus on returning a desired outcome. Patricia was the producer of SlamDunk Basketball Talk a show on House of Talent online TV, a former fellow at Harvest Institute for leadership and now an assessor there, and an alumnus of the YELP class of 2017. A member of the BNI Integrity chapter and African Women Entrepreneur Cooperative. She is driven by passion and curiosity, been taking every opportunity that has been given to her with an ambition of stamping her footprint on the world.

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