A new CIMA Code of Ethics
CIMA is undertaking a full review and rewriting of its Code of Ethics with a view to replacing the current 2015 Code in early 2020. The review was prompted by the changes to the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
The CIMA Code of Ethics underpins the professionalism of CIMA members and CGMA designation holders with its five core principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, and professional behaviour. The rewritten Code will adopt a new structure. While it will retain a principles-based approach, it will emphasise overarching requirements in addition to specific requirements, with supporting material on how they should be applied.
The new Code will have an enhanced conceptual framework and will introduce new and strengthened provisions on safeguards, professional judgement, and professional scepticism.
CIMA intends to consult on the new Code in early 2019. It is intended that the new Code be formally agreed at the CIMA Council meeting in June this year and will come into force in early 2020.
Peter Steel, vice-president—Professional Standards and Ethics at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, said: "The guarantee of professionalism that the CGMA designation gives to businesses and members of the public is underwritten by the Code of Ethics. The Code provides an ethical framework around all management accounting decisions, which helps ensure the integrity and soundness of the advice offered by our members worldwide. Given the pace of change, particularly technological change in finance and industry, it is vital that our Code of Ethics keeps up to date and is fit to deal with current ethical challenges. We are pleased to be presenting the new Code during CIMA's centenary year."
Bob Beedham, FCMA, CGMA, chair of CIMA's Professional Standards Committee, said: "For management accountants to be considered as trusted advisers, there is a need to hold ourselves out as a profession that can be trusted and respected as well as being technically competent.
"It is appropriate that CIMA should continue to drive the acceptance of good ethical standards and be a world leader in this area."
Ethical guidance for members
CIMA's Ethics team maintains a number of resources aimed at helping members and students who may find themselves in need of ethical guidance during their working life.
As well as maintaining the Code of Ethics, which provides the framework for ethical decision-making in management accounting, the team also promotes the Ethics Checklist, available at cimaglobal.com, which aims to help members adopt a reasoned approach to solving ethical dilemmas.
The team also provides the CIMA ethics helpline, which is available at cimaglobal.com. This free confidential helpline offers ethical guidance and assistance to all CIMA members and students when applying the Code of Ethics. Team members answer the ethical queries they receive on a confidential and anonymous basis. They point members and students to the relevant parts of the Code and assist them in working through the problem and their next steps. Where necessary, they refer callers to other resources (such as CIMA's legal advice line) or other agencies.
Increasingly, queries are received by email. The team works hard to answer these often complicated problems as soon as possible — usually taking no more than 48 hours, but generally responding sooner. The type of query can range from the discovery of a fraud at work to strained relationships with a manager or a colleague to when it is necessary to dissociate from a client. The team emphasises the Code of Ethics as the best guide to the appropriate response in any such situation and encourages members to arrive at decisions that are right for them in accordance with the fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, and professional behaviour.
A range of CIMA ethical dilemma videos, webcasts, and responsible business videos are also available at cimaglobal.com.
Malaysia conference: 'Riding the digital wave'
Noel Tagoe, FCMA, CGMA, Ph.D., executive vice-president—Management Accounting, Research and Curricula, spoke on the future of finance at Malaysia's largest annual accounting conference in Kuala Lumpur in mid-October 2018.
Also speaking was Malaysia's deputy finance minister, Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah.
The conference, organised by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants, attracted about 3,000 delegates from across the public and private sectors. Themed "Riding the Digital Wave, Leading Transformation", it focused on the impact of the digital era on businesses, the role of finance, and business risk. For the past four years the event has been CGMA-sponsored.