For the purposes of this framework, CAs are described as professionals who are:
Responsible leaders: These leaders need to display respect, courage and consideration for the future (creation of sustainable value for the individual, the organisation and for humanity on a global basis) by developing key relationships and by demonstrating a clear regard for justice (recognise difference between what is right and wrong). A CA is a responsible leader with a specific background in professional accountancy. This implies that a CA should always display professional values and attitudes, have the full range of technical competencies of a professional accountant and also those enabling competencies to demonstrate responsible leadership qualities in a specific domain.
Behave ethically: The CA profession is committed to maintaining public confidence through an overriding commitment to behave ethically in all professional tasks and interactions with others. All CAs are required at all times to uphold ethical principles and to conduct themselves professionally, in a manner that exemplifies and enhances the reputation of the CA profession.
Create sustainable value: CAs create value when they provide quality deliverables (contributions, services, products and experiences) on a wide range of inputs, activities and outputs that lead to outcomes in an organisation’s value creation process. This value creation needs to be sustainable, thus sustaining the organisation and the context in which it exists. By enhancing its positive impact on the economy, society and the environment and by eradicating or ameliorating its negative impact on them, the organisation creates value for society and CAs have a marked effect on or ability to influence the organisation’s value creation process.
As responsible leaders who behave ethically and create sustainable value for a wide range of stakeholders within an organisation, CAs use:
Integrated thinking: The core of creating sustainable value is integrated thinking. It requires synthesis and sense-making of ideas and information to develop a more complete understanding of issues and/ or the implications of alternatives. CAs as professional accountants use integrated thinking for the interpretation, analysis and evaluation of financial and non-financial information to achieve viable solutions whilst considering all alternatives, obtaining a broader understanding of an issue, creating a design or formulating a plan etc. Such integrated thinking is done during active consideration of relationships between various operating and functional units of an organisation and the capitals that are affected or used. Integrated thinking requires CAs to always display professional values and attitudes whilst thinking about value creation in an integrated manner. This entails integrating enabling competencies with technical competencies.
Interpret, analyse and evaluate financial and non-financial information: CAs need to have the full range of professional competencies for the interpretation, analysis and evaluation of financial and non-financial information. In addition to preparing historical financials, budgets and business documents based on past transactions in accordance with rules and standards, CAs need to interpret, analyse and evaluate information on where value (tangible and intangible) is created and destroyed based on real time information and forward-looking predictions, to gain insights that could affect business models. This process includes understanding and modelling of non-financial drivers of business performance.
To make impactful decisions whilst influencing others: CAs need to have a marked effect or influence on an organisation’s value creation process. This requires that they establish, maintain and develop internal and external relationships to participate in and inform an organisation’s value creation process. Well-developed enabling competencies, complemented by sound technical competencies, enable CAs, whilst displaying professional values and attitudes, to make impactful decisions whilst influencing others.
Contribute meaningfully to society: The CA profession strives to make a meaningful contribution to society by serving and protecting public interest. Behavioural standards set out in the Code of Professional Conduct recognise the CA profession’s public interest responsibility. This is supplemented by professional standards and guidance that help to ensure CAs deliver quality work on which relevant stakeholders can rely. A CA discharges his/her public interest responsibility by not only complying with, or being seen to be complying with the letter of the Code of Professional Conduct, but by their ability to apply the spirit of professionalism grounded in the fundamental ethical principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, and confidentiality, as well as professional behaviour.
1 Use of the term “business” refers to both private and public sector organisations