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Ethics, Accountants and the Public Interest

by Nigel Kendall
Photograph of city life/public transport representing public interest. Credit: Ken Goddard

Should an accountancy practice turn down work on the grounds that the public interest may be at risk, and can ethical principles guide its judgement of that public interest?

Deloitte are criticised for ignoring the public interest

The UK’s Financial Reporting Council recently published the report of the Appeal Tribunal which was considering the earlier judgement against Deloitte and Touche, who were advisers to MG Rover Group which collapsed in 2005.

The background was that BMW, having abandoned hope of turning round the MG Rover Car Group, sold it in 2000 to a group of businessmen who became known as the Phoenix Four, for £10. This team publicly expressed their intention of working in the public interest as part of their successful…

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