NEW YORK, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- PricewaterhouseCoopers today unveiled
the accounting profession's first global "Code of Conduct" -- a set of
principles that guides the organization's business conduct and helps its
people sustain a culture of ethics and integrity around the world.
"Our reputation is anchored in the professionalism, ethics and excellence
of service our people have demonstrated throughout our 150-year history,"
notes Samuel A. DiPiazza, PricewaterhouseCoopers'global CEO. "Yet we
recognize that today's challenging business climate requires us to
demonstratively reinforce our commitment to high standards and our passion for
quality and integrity in all we do. That is why we have developed the
PricewaterhouseCoopers Code of Conduct. We hope it will be a model for the
A set of standards describing the behaviors PricewaterhouseCoopers expects
of its people, the Code also provides guidelines that, combined with the good
judgment and experience of its employees, exemplify the organization
everywhere in the world it does business. The PricewaterhouseCoopers Code of
Conduct is an outgrowth of the organization's existing values of excellence,
teamwork and leadership. PricewaterhouseCoopers' desire to articulate those
values by creating the global Code was not a "knee-jerk" reaction to the
current crisis of confidence in the financial markets and the accounting
profession, although the organization's desire to articulate those values has
been reinforced by current events.
Explains Barbara Kipp, global ethics leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers,
"Although our people conduct business within a framework of relevant laws,
regulations and internal policies, we recognize that laws and policies do not
govern all behavior. We felt it was important for all our stakeholders -- our
people, our clients and the investing public -- to understand exactly what we
stand for and how they can expect us to conduct ourselves."
Globally the PricewaterhouseCoopers Code of Conduct is part of a
comprehensive initiative designed to ensure that all PricewaterhouseCoopers
member firms worldwide help their people to understand and comply with it.
That included naming dedicated business conduct leaders around the world,
developing training programs, using communications channels such as helplines
to allow partners and staff to raise concerns, and creating ways to monitor
the effectiveness of these activities.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers Code of Conduct is integral to the way the
organization works every day in every part of the world. But its
implementation will take place locally. Since legal and professional
requirements -- and business cultures -- differ from country to country,
PricewaterhouseCoopers encourages local supplements to address local customs
In the United States, the Code's U.S. supplement provides U.S.-based
people with more detailed information on a broad range of policies covering
legal and professional obligations, client and other business relationships,
organizational and administrative requirements and personal conduct. It was
developed by the U.S. firm's long-established Ethics & Business Conduct
Office, which administers a comprehensive program to guide those faced with
ethical issues or policy-based questions. It is believed to be the only
comprehensive ethics program among the U.S.-based Big Four accounting firms.
Elements include defined channels of communication (including a confidential
helpline and mailbox) and training in ethical concepts and ethical
decision-making. The U.S. ethics program was the 1998 private company
recipient of the American Business Ethics Award presented by the Society of
Financial Services Professionals.
"Although we realize that no code of conduct or ethics management program
can guarantee the prevention of wrongdoing, we do believe that the
PricewaterhouseCoopers Code of Conduct, coupled with the appropriate
supporting activities, can help prevent and detect misconduct. Even more
important, it can help sustain a culture where integrity is valued and
promoted through everyday business practice," says Ms. Kipp.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (http://www.pwcglobal.com) is the world's largest
professional services organization. Drawing on the knowledge and skills of
more than 125,000 people in 142 countries, we build relationships by providing
services based on quality and integrity.
"PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to the network of member firms of
PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, each of which is a separate and
independent legal entity.
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