Ethics are the backbone of the payroll profession

Code of ethics enhances trust of practitioners and brand image of the profession
By Amanda Silliker
|Canadian Payroll Reporter|Last Updated: 12/20/2010

There is no other department in an organization that is privy to as much confidential information as payroll. With access to information such as  work history, family status, work performance and salary and bonuses for each employee, it’s crucial the members of the payroll department conduct themselves with the utmost integrity — and that’s where a code of ethics comes in, said Steven Van Alstine, vice-president of education at the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA).

The CPA does not have a specific code of ethics but has a code of professional conduct with ethics embedded. All certified payroll compliance practitioners and certified payroll managers must adhere to the code in order to receive certification. All members of the CPA are encouraged to follow this code as well, said Van Alstine.

“Ethics defines accepted behaviour, promotes a high standard of practice, provides benchmarks and establishes responsibilities,” said Van Alstine. “A code of professional conduct, or ethics, is a vehicle for occupational identity.”