By Cynthia Alo
Chairman, Audit Committee Institute (ACI), Christian Ekeigwe, has harped on the need for accountants to exercise sufficient self-control as they play their gate-keeping roles in society.
Ekeigwe, a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA), attributed audit failures to lack of self-control in people holding critical governance and control positions in organizations, and yet accounting wisdom does not recognize this pathology.
Ekeigwe made these assertions in the third edition of his allocution series to the accounting profession titled, ‘A Letter to My Profession.’
Ekeigwe, who pioneered IT auditing in Nigeria described self-control as “accounting’s blindside”, which he said is the root cause of what ails it (accounting) and from where it suffers myriads of setbacks.
He decried the rate at which self-control has been unremarked in the accounting conversation in the society despite recent egregious audit failures, which he said can only be explained by flaws in human judgment due to insufficient self-control competence.
He argued that self-control is a blindside of accounting because it is not conceptually captured in the wisdom of accounting, despite the fact that its absence has resulted in a recent history of accounting that is punctate with, among other things, inexpiable audit failures.
According to him, accounting must now include self-control as a deliberate competence that all accountants must consciously cultivate, recommending that accounting training should use instruction, examples and impressive imagery to inculcate self-control in the new generation of accountants to immunize them against the halo effect of hedonic histrionics of modern society.
Stressing on the importance of self-control, Ekeigwe pointed out that empires, companies and individuals have collapsed as a result of poor self-control, noting that in all philosophies, religions and civilizations, self-control has been shown to be a critical success factor.
He recommended that self-control should be institutionally identified as a necessary deliberate competence for accountants and consciously cultivated.