Code of Ethics

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The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AIPCA) stress the need for their members to follow a code of ethics. The AICPA code is the primary source of guidance for those that practice public accounting while the IMA is concerned with a broader role for accounts and financial professionals that work inside the companies. There are likenesses and there are variances between the two but the main objective is to set professional standards for all types of accounting. The IMA and AICPA codes have a few similarities. Both discuss the importance of overall honesty, fairness, objectivity and responsibility that practitioners should act in accordance with as well as encourage others to do. Both express the significance of being competent, having integrity and maintain confidentiality. The IMA and AICPA emphasize the importance of continuing education and being able to perform required duties while maintaining the credibility of the organization they work for. They equally explain that behaving ethically in your professional practice requires commitment and that having the trust of your customers is top priority. The concentration on the accountant’s behavior is an overall similarity. There are also differences among them. One of the most obvious is the organizational structure. The IMA Code is significantly shorter and less “wordy”. In my opinion the IMA Code is easier to understand and describes the responsibilities of practitioners in a simpler way. The AICPA Code contains a list of professional rules of conduct that aren’t addressed in the IMA. The rules contain interpretations and rulings and in addition there are bylaws that require adherence to the rules and standard. I also noticed that, unlike the AICPA, the IMA Code includes a section at the end explaining how one might resolve ethical conflict. If your company doesn’t have a policy already established, the courses of action listed in the...
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