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Promoting transparency and good governance - EY - United States

Americas Corporate Sustainability Report 2012

Promoting transparency and good governance

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What are the main drivers of your company’s planned acquisition activity in your chosen market/country? (respondents could select two)

Automotive capital confidence barometer - Growth

1 Source: S&P Capital IQ, 11 April 2012

Apart from our people, our reputation is our most important asset.

More than 45,000 people work in 30 countries across our Americas area, with Ernst & Young LLP in the United States being the largest Americas member firm.

Instilling professional values

We firmly believe that our profession plays a vital role in promoting investor confidence in financial reporting and capital markets. We recognize the importance of this role and take seriously our commitment to executing high-quality professional services.

We also understand that apart from our people, our reputation is our most important asset. Our integrated approach, globally consistent policies and practices, independence processes and our code of conduct strengthen our ability to set the bar for service quality.

Setting the “tone at the top”

Setting the right “tone at the top” is a key responsibility of our senior leadership teams. We communicate to our people that quality and professional responsibility start with them and are the most important things they do every day.

Our culture strongly supports collaboration and teamwork and places special emphasis on the importance of consultation in dealing with complex or subjective accounting, auditing, reporting, regulatory and independence matters.

Code of conduct

We promote a culture of integrity and high ethical standards among all our professionals. The Global Code of Conduct — that all personnel in the Americas Areas and all client-serving professionals globally are required to sign annually — provides a clear set of the standards and behaviors that guide the member firms’ and their people’s actions and business conduct.

We also have an EY/Ethics hotline, to provide our people, clients and others outside the organization a confidential means to report activity that may involve unethical or improper behavior that may be in violation of professional standards or otherwise inconsistent with our Global Code of Conduct.

Client acceptance and service delivery

To achieve excellence in client service, we offer a range of global tools and processes that support our people in evaluating, accepting and serving the right clients with the right services. These tools include:

  • Global Tool Acceptance and Continuance (GTAC), which provides a consistent system and process for managing relationships, recording opportunities and facilitating client acceptance
  • Service Offering Reference Tool (SORT), which allows our people to assess quickly the services that can be delivered to our audit and non-audit clients

Contributing to the public discourse

We are committed to engaging in thoughtful dialogue on public policy and regulatory issues that matter to investors and other stakeholders, our profession and the capital markets.

Our public policy efforts span a variety of economic and social issues, including:

  • Supporting policy reforms that would contribute to increased investor confidence in financial reporting and audit
  • Strengthening corporate and board governance
  • Enhancing and improving the auditor reporting model
  • Improving dialogue between auditors, financial regulators and other stakeholders

Stakeholders and mechanisms of engagement

We share a common interest with investors and other stakeholders in the quality of financial reporting and audits, enhancing transparency and good governance. To help maintain their trust and confidence, we seek to listen and learn what they say about these areas to be able to respond constructively.

We engage with investors and other stakeholders to hear their views about our member firms’ effectiveness and how what they do might be improved.

We believe we have made great progress on our sustainability strategy in the Americas. However, we also know that there is much more to do. We are proud of the differences our people are making and the passion they show daily in serving our clients, supporting our communities and promoting environmental stewardship.

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Contact us

Email Stephen Starbuck
Americas Climate Change and Sustainability Services Leader
+1 704 331 1980

Email Leisha John
Americas Director of Environmental Sustainability
+1 305 415 1480

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