Institute of Management Accounting’s (IMA) mission is to provide a forum for research, practice development, education, knowledge sharing, and the advocacy of the highest ethical and best business practices in management accounting and finance. The IMA has strongly enforced ethics since it’s inception. Their ethics committee was one of the first committees established in 1919, at their very first meeting. It was call ‘The Standard of Ethical Conduct for Management Accountants. This shows that the IMA is extremely serious when it comes to the professionalism required by it’s members.
This guideline has been revised twice, once in 1979 and then again in 2005. Upon the last revision, the code of ethical conduct became the IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice. All members must take an oath and adhere to the Institute of Management Accounting (IMA) Standards of Ethical Professional Practice. The are four main principles of this code of ethical conduct. They are: I. Honesty II. Fairness III. Objectivity IV. Responsibility It is the responsibility of every accountant to comply with these standards to avoid any type of disciplinarian action. According to the IMA each member must be professional.
Many of the areas of professionalism to be maintained includes a commitment to education. This is the section of the IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice that requires all accountant members to stay abreast of the many laws, regulations and technical standards. Due to our everyday landscape and the continual changes in accounting, taxes, etc. , the IMA has a continuing education (CE) requirement. All accountants must take a certain amount of CE classes so that they’ll be able to provide sound advice to their clients. This does not only keep them knowledgeable, it also keeps them aware of their professional limitations.
Another part of an accountant’s responsibility is to respect the confidentiality of their clients. They must maintain a high level of scrutiny to make sure that not only do they always perform ethically and within the law, but they must also make sure that all of the activities of their subordinates are legal. This requires a great deal of integrity. To have integrity. The official definition of integrity is: Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code. This is the basis of IMA’s existence. Aristotle once said, ‘We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly.
It is obvious that there is no room for error when it come to the IMA’s code of ethical conduct. An accountant must be ethical when discussing any financial reporting, including advice and recommendations. He needs to assess the financial state of the company to the best of his ability. It is his duty and responsibility to be forthcoming with ALL revenues, expenses, assets and liabilities and let the chips fall where they may. In essence, they must be fair and objective. The IMA’s ethics guidelines have been used by other companies and organizations in some shape, form or fashion for many years.
This tells you that this ethical guideline, in particular, is something that crosses all lines. It is very easy to live your life with these principles. As a matter of fact, the IMA expects their members to behave in their personal life and community with the ethical professionalism that is required in their profession. As a student, I can, have and will continue to use every single one of these principles. It is quite obvious that there are many ways to access information with the advent of the internet. Therefore, students today have access to many things that were not available 30 or even 20 years ago.
It now takes a great deal of commitment to honesty to maintain one’s integrity. As a student, I too, must maintain that sense of integrity. I believe integrity is the basis of the entire IMA’s Statement of Profession Ethical Conduct. Let’s see how this can is relevant to me as a student. To remain honest in this society is becoming more rare that the norm. It is imperative that I maintain my sense of honesty throughout my education. As a student, there are a variety of ethical decisions to be made at any given time. I will have to make an ethical choices every single day.
By being honest and accountable with my decisions, I will actually take away a higher and more thorough learning experience. As a student there are many opportunities for fraudulent behavior up to and including plagiarism. There are many students who are motivated by the consequences of their dishonesty and others who are only motivated by the end result. In other words, they would do it, if they knew for sure that they wouldn’t get caught. Those are the students that are lacking in integrity. Personally, my motivation is the consequence of losing out on the education of a lifetime.
I’m a Clarity Coach. I help people see their life with clarity. In doing so, I expect to be true to myself. If I can’t see things clearly, and I can only do that by being honest with myself, then how do I expect to help others get to the next level in their life. I am motivated by my passion for knowledge. I want to know more and I want to learn more. I can only do these by adhering to my personal code of ethics. To be competent is to be knowledgeable. One gains a sense of knowledge by learning. The only way to learn is to perform as a student.
As a student, there are certain guidelines that you must adhere to. Every university has their own set of rules and regulations. One obvious rule is to enroll and perform in classes. This must be done to continue to develop my knowledge and skills. If that doesn’t happen, either party (you or the university) can decide look at other options. You can make the choice to leave or your school can make that choice for you. In reference to me, I must do everything possible to learn what’s put before me to successfully perform in the business program, in other words, I must be competent.
There are several reasons to maintain a sense of confidentiality. By revealing privileged information, we can have a substantial impact on other individuals. Anything that precludes another individual from gaining the perceived level of education from taking a course, is quite frankly, unethical and illegal in respect to the inferred rule that everyone is allowed an education. There are several advantages of maintaining confidentiality, the most important one is promoting the opportunity to learn. There is an inherent sense of confidentiality that I must observe hen it comes to the sharing of curriculum assignments, research papers, and a host personal information.
In a class environment, you may find out personal information just by the nature of classroom interaction, as well as group projects. Again, it is imperative not to disclose any confidential information acquired during these interactions unless expressly authorized to do so. It is also a huge part of the learning experience for the instructor to maintain a sense of confidentiality to their students. A breech could impact that students interaction, absorption of the information and prevent them from seeking assistance when/if needed.
If a professor is confidential with a students information and/or private dealings, they actually strengthen that relationship and foster continued learning and trust in that student. I’m sure it could have a huge impact on my classroom performance. I have to maintain a sense of fairness and objectivity at all times, when it comes to responding to my classmates, group members and professors. I need to be mindful that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, including myself. However, I need to express it in a fair and balanced manner.
When we consider the challenges that have been faced by many of our major corporations and accounting firms, along with the S&L catastrophe from years ago, we quickly see how ‘creative’ financial managers can put us all at risk of losing what we’ve worked so hard for, at any given time. If only these companies were committed to the guidelines of the IMA, we could have quite possibly had a very different ‘corporate climate’ all together. It’s quite possible that major ‘financial disasters like Enron and WorldCom would have been unthinkable and therefore non-existent.
It is also quite obvious that the IMA’s Statement of Ethical Professional Practice is relevant for so many corporations, organizations and even individuals like me. Today, with the advent of the internet, there are so many ways to compromise your integrity. Students today have access to many things that were not available 30 or even 20 years ago. I can honestly say that it takes a great deal of commitment to honesty to maintain one’s integrity. As a student, every day I make the choice to live my life with integrity.