The bookkeeper has a responsible position in society. She tracks the flow of monies that come into and go out of companies and businesses. The work of a bookkeeper is necessary so that interested parties can understand the financial status of the business at a glance. A bookkeeper is a powerful person and must work to the highest ethical standards. The role of the bookkeeper could also involve working on a company’s tax obligations and so there is often a legal aspect to doing the job. If you work in payroll as part of your bookkeeping role you also have a huge responsibility to organise people’s wages and therefore livelihoods. If you create invoices and organise paying the bills then you will understand that you need to be honest, up-to-date, accurate and quick to spot mistakes and put them right if you are to be an ethical bookkeeper.
Bookkeeping ethics are all about truthfulness, being careful and diligent in all you do, not just in your bookkeeping. A bookkeeper has a trusted and respected role. There are bodies such as the International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB) and the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) which state what behaviours are appropriate for bookkeepers. These behaviours are listed below along with generally recognised appropriate actions that bookkeepers will need to take in order to uphold the good name of the profession.
When you are a bookkeeper you will need to conduct yourself according to the rules and ethos of the professional body to which you belong or the company which employs you.
Bookkeepers should at all times only engage in activities which will not bring themselves or their peers or employers etc, into disrepute. For instance committing any criminal offence (maybe apart from some road traffic offences) would usually be enough to get the member struck off the official list of practitioners. It may tarnish the good name or reputation of the institution or the company the bookkeeper works for and is considered very serious. So being a good bookkeeper means behaving appropriately in your private as well as your professional life.
Long live lpv