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Picture of Lourika Els
by Lourika Els - Monday, 15 October 2012, 09:44 AM

Professional accountants or auditors need to cultivate two complementary kinds of know-how.

Apart from the technical skills of accounting or auditing required to do their job, they also need practical wisdom to do what is ethically right.

For example, whereas technical skills enable a professional to detect something untoward on a balance sheet, practical wisdom guides one through the minefield of appropriately dealing with it in the organisation, and, if necessary, beyond.

The practical wisdom that is typical of ethics is acquired through doing the right thing in different real-life situations – in our job, but also of course in all our personal relationships.

Thus, practical wisdom is more than merely knowing what ethical standards require of us, but also how to put them into practice. As such, ethics, or doing the right thing, is way of life, or an activity. And any activity requires practice. And the practical wisdom that comes through practice is what we need when we work with people.


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