The ethical roadmap: Do you set the pathway or just follow it? – The 2017 Queensland Tax Forum

Alice McCleary CTA (Life) and Aggie Maisano

As an adviser or practitioner, your personal and professional conduct is regulated in a number of ways – from the codes of the Tax Practitioners Board and the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board to the 'fit and proper person' requirements of Institute membership.

The obligations of an adviser to act ethically are there because, in practice, we are often faced with situations that present ethical dilemmas. While our relevant codes of conduct detail how we are required to act, they can often seem more like lofty ideals than practical rules that can be easily applied to the situation at hand. As the vast majority of advisers strive to act ethically, these grey areas and lack of specific guidance add a further level of uncertainty to an already precipitous situation.

At the 2017 Queensland Tax Forum, a panel session will look at ‘Ethics in practice’.

Facilitated by Trevor
Pascall CTA (Crowe Horwath), the panel will include Alice McCleary CTA (Life),
Chair of The Tax Institute's Disciplinary Committee and Professional Standards
Committee, Ian Taylor, Chair of the Tax Practitioners Board, Aggie Maisano
(PwC) and Angie Hicks CTA (BDO). 

We spoke with Alice and Aggie about what attendees can expect from the session. 

Affiliated with The Tax Institute for more than 30 years,
mostly at the national level, Alice is a former President of the Institute and
now works as a company director of several listed and unlisted entities. Based in Adelaide, she was also
Australia’s representative on the International Ethics Standards Board for
Accountants, helping set the ethical standards for the world’s 2.5 million professional

Aggie Maisano is the Leader of  PwC Legal's  Risk & Quality team. With more than 25 years’ experience providing advice across risk, legal, regulatory and governance in the tax and legal practices of
professional services firms in Australia and the Asia Pacific region, she is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW.
Aggie told us: “In our session, we’ll be looking at ethics,
morals, codes of conduct, and duty of care. How does a tax adviser navigate
between these and the challenges in an environment of unprecedented scrutiny?”
Alice added: “Our panel will explore the range of practical
ethical dilemmas which tax advisers face. Sometimes it can be very lonely in
professional practice when a tough ethical dilemma arises. The people you would
like to seek advice from may be conflicted, preventing them from getting
involved, and there may be legal prohibitions on seeking independent external
advice. We hope that this panel discussion will highlight some common ethical
quandaries, and give participants some clarity on how to approach them.”
Covering the key ethical and legal obligations for everyone from registered tax agents and lawyers to chartered accountants and CPAs, the panel will
offer some practical guidance on areas where there are more rigid requirements
and where some flexibility exists. It will also look at circumstances where
errors are found that are not the adviser’s fault (for example, in a file
inheritance scenario), and how to deal with clients who are less than truthful
or present fraudulent supporting documents.

Asked what
attendees can expect to learn from the session, Aggie said: “Delegates will hear
about the application of the spectrum of different considerations that impact
an adviser’s tax opinion when refracted through a prism of ethics, morals, code
of conduct and duty of care. We’ll look at the roadmap for advisers 
– I s the
adviser responsible for setting the pathway or just following it?”

Looking at how
the session would help advisers help their clients, Aggie said “advisers
have an additional layer of risk to consider for themselves and their clients. It is no longer a question of technical advice only. Advisers have to consider
questions of governance and risk management and provide the client the ability
to apply those considerations 
–  internally and externally  –  to their commercial

Taking place on 24-25 August 2017 in Brisbane, the Queensland Tax Forum will open with a keynote address from
Andrew Mills CTA (Life) (ATO) regarding ‘the tax administration continuum’. 

On day two, a presentation from Grant Wardell-Johnson CTA will be another
forum highlight as he provides an insight into the future of taxation. 

Forum will also feature a wide range of practical sessions, with technical content
tailored across two streams for advisers to SMEs and to larger corporate
taxpayers and advisers.

You can view the full program on our website .


See all

Follow Us