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Colella urges fairness

1 Dec 08

As the global economy continues to slow down, businesses should guard against a siege mentality and be reminded that treating customers and suppliers fairly is crucial to reestablishing a stable business environment

That’s the message from ICAS Chief Executive Anton Colella in a letter to the nearly 13,000 members working in business and professional practice in 100 countries around the world.

Explaining the reasons for the letter, Anton Colella said, “Our members run or advise businesses in the world’s major economies, so the CA belongs to a professional community like few others. This means that our members have the opportunity to use their expertise and judgement to reinforce the message of broader responsibility within their own organisations and to the clients they advise. I believe the reputation of the CA for integrity and business leadership means that they can positively influence the business environment.”

Colella’s letter says: “I consider it is important to ask our members to assist the wider business community in rebuilding confidence. The Institute clearly recognises the primacy of directors acting to maintain the viability of their own businesses but it is also important that directors reach out to their wider business relationships and ensure that they focus on their responsibility to treat customers and suppliers with care.

“It would be easy for businesses to operate a siege mentality, which could affect other businesses in the supply chain. The Institute believes that this would be likely to have even more of a negative impact on an economy heading towards recession. We believe that the vital role you play in the business community makes the CA uniquely well placed to stress that relationships established over many years require particular care and honest and open discussion during the current difficulties. Having suppliers that you can trust takes time and the goodwill inherent in such relationships adds value to a business – jeopardising this would be damaging. Similarly, forcing harsher terms and conditions on customers is likely to be counterproductive.

“All members of the Institute recognise that relationships will be under stress at this time but nobody wants a situation where businesses fail unnecessarily. I believe that by reinforcing our obligation to act with ethics and integrity, our professional community can make a significant difference in helping to rebuild confidence.”

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