It is hard to disagree that rules play a major role in any professional field. They allow employees to make the right choices and guide their decision-making in difficult situations or dilemmas. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants provides its Code of Professional Conduct so that practitioners, businesses, and clients can have better experiences (Mintz, 2018). The core principles outlined in the code make sure that professionals solve the conflicts that inevitably arise at work and do that correctly. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the public interest principle.
Overall, the main focus of this principle is the public trust and interest. It can be defined as the obligation of practitioners to act with objectivity and integrity when dealing with conflicts (Mintz, 2018). They also have to accept their responsibility to each group of their public, including investors, clients, governments, employers, and others, and differentiate between their private and public interests, preferring the latter (Mintz, 2018). If practitioners follow this principle, they can provide quality services and be considered high-level professionals.
The public interest rule brings major value to bring to businesses, practitioners, and clients. First, if the workers are ethical and eager to honor the public trust, it positively affects the whole company’s image and increases its competitiveness. Then, practitioners can achieve professional growth and win the favor of clients and employers if they follow this principle. Finally, customers also gain benefits because their experiences with businesses become more quality and sincere.
An example of a difficult situation related to the discussed principle is if an employee finds out that their client does not comply with regulations and laws. The practitioner has to either disclose this information to authorities or maintain confidentiality, which is in their client’s interests. In this scenario, the right and ethical option is to inform the authorities because this is the way to benefit the whole community. However, the worker may be tempted to violate the principle if the client promises to reward the employee for maintaining confidentiality.
Mintz, S. (2018). Accounting in the public interest: An historical perspective on professional ethics. The CPA Journal. Web.