A senior partner at Ernst & Young Ghana, Mr Kwadwo Mpeani Brantuo has urged students of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) to uphold high ethical standards in society by incorporating moral and professional ethics into their DNA as they prepare themselves for the world of work.
The Chartered Accountant and UPSA alumnus said: “Build your life and career on an ethical foundation with stones of honesty, character, integrity, faith and love and loyalty.”
He stressed that being ethical is not only the right thing to do, but also the most practical way to live as a young professional.
Mr. Brantuo was speaking on the topic: “Ethical behaviour will take you far” at the third edition of the Alumni Spotlight Series, organised by the Faculty of Accounting and Finance (FAF) in partnership with the UPSA Global Alumni Association.
Mr. Brantuo observed that “We live in a generation where many believe that the end justifies the means. And I hear this all the time especially from students – that it is money we want so why this, why do we have to struggle [for it]? If you can get it, that is it.
“But I’m telling you today that you need to be careful because it is not all doors that are opened by God. There are some doors that God did not open. God knows nothing about that door that you are happy walking through.
“Is it any wonder that even children are now part of the cycle of corruption in this country? What would the future of the country be if fifteen year old students taking the BECE are reputed to be collecting money from [their] parents to pay for ‘leaked’ examination papers? [And] what moral courage would parents who succumb to such pressure and requests have to correct their children when they go wrong?”.
He said it is not uncommon to find pictures of students these days in the media who are reported to have fraudulently gained admission into universities with fake certificates and through other unapproved means.
He added that it is even more disturbing when stories of students in some tertiary institutions are repeatedly told of attempts to bribe lecturers or officials in order to influence their examination results.
The seasoned chartered accountant noted it is no wonder the moral fibre of the Ghanaian society keeps deteriorating, stressing that “we cannot continue on that tangent as a nation.”
Making biblical allusion to Noah building an ark for the rainy season, Mr Brantuo charged students to build their ark of ethics while in school, explaining that they will reap the benefits when they get into the field of work or later in life.
“Some of you take ethics as something very simple,” he said. “If you have borrowed a friend’s book and you are still sitting on it, after this [seminar] go and return the book. It is not yours, you borrowed it.”
“Some of you are so difficult to live with as roommates, all because of [your lack] of ethics. If you want to make it [in life], you will have to respect ethics.
“Ethical behavior can take you far. Without it, you might not finish the journey,” he said.
For his part, the Dean of the Faculty of Accounting and Finance, Professor Raymond Dziwornu advised the students to build a strong character as they uphold high ethical values.
“Your qualification will give you a job but your character, your attitude and the ethical behavior that you demonstrate will keep your job,” he said. “It is one thing getting a job and it another thing keeping it.”
While thanking the guest speaker for an insightful discussion, Prof Dziwornu said the Alumni Spotlight Series continues to provide a conducive platform for alumni of the university to share their industry experience with the student community while offering an opportunity for the students to be equipped with practical knowledge and interact and network.
UPSA Global Alumni President, Mr. Francis Dadzie noted that as an alumni body, they have been yearning for an opportunity to mentor the next generation of global professionals and the FAF Alumni Spotlight Series provides a perfect platform to impact the younger generation.
Past speakers at the Alumni Spotlight Series include Dr Eric Oduro Osae, director-General of the Internal Audit Agency and Dr George Baah, a professor of accounting at Quinnipiac University.