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:
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...