21 October 2020, London – The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the world’s largest body of management accountants, has launched a new online ethics decision-making tool designed to help accounting and finance professionals make ethically sound decisions in tough situations. The tool’s launch is part of the Institute’s month-long campaign celebrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals, culminating today on Global Ethics Day.
The pandemic has placed extraordinary pressure on businesses, with many wrestling with complex issues around finances, supply chain, talent, ethics, compliance and productivity. These situations are likely to become more prevalent due to the current economic environment and companies facing further financial challenges. Worryingly, according to EY Global Integrity Report 2020, 90% of global businesses believe that coronavirus is a threat to ethical business behaviour.
CIMA’s new interactive ethics tool guides accounting and finance professionals facing an ethical dilemma through a series of questions to ensure they consider all relevant factors in their decision-making process, prompting them to seek further professional support where appropriate. This will help accounting and finance professionals continue to uphold the highest ethical and professional standards, enhance public trust in the profession, and maintain corporate integrity.
Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, Chief Executive – Management Accounting, said:
“This year’s Global Ethics Day is a good reminder that accounting and finance professionals have a duty to act with integrity and in the public interest. As companies continue to deal with the knock-on effects of coronavirus and face severe financial strains, an increasing number of professionals may encounter ethical challenges and moral dilemmas. Professionalism and ethics have always been at the core of CIMA's activities, and it is important that we continue to support accounting and finance professionals throughout this difficult period. Without trust, we have no profession.”
Earlier this year, CIMA updated its Code of Ethics to better help finance professionals deal with ethics and independence challenges in the modern digital business world. All CIMA members and students are required to comply with the Code of Ethics and apply its fundamental principles to their working lives. As part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the global accounting organisation formed by CIMA and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), they have a duty to uphold the highest possible standards of ethics and morals to preserve trust and protect public interest worldwide.
The Institute provides a wide range of resources – case studies, articles, thought leadership and videos – designed to help finance professionals prepare for ethical challenges they may face in their roles. CIMA also offers a free, confidential helpline and inbox for members and students who may be facing an ethical dilemma and need further advice.