Jeff Walters, President
In this issue:
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The Board of Directors has been busy this summer planning for the 2017-2018 Chapter year. We're looking forward to another great year of technical programs and community service opportunities.
Please mark your calendar for the following technical session meeting dates:
The pre-meeting technical sessions will continue to start at 5:00, but on order to help you get home a little sooner, we'll be starting the after-dinner technical sessions at 6:30 rather than 7:00. Unless otherwise announced, the meetings will continue to be held at Kozmos Grille, 37 First St NE, Massillon 44647.
We expect to have a variety of topics including economic, financial and business updates as well as a networking session similar to our visit to the Canton Brewery last year. Of course, our first meeting of the Chapter year will be Student Night at Malone University on September 19th.
We're also working on the annual member roster and need to make sure your information is correct. Like last year, the program book and roster is online for easy access to all of our members and those interested in IMA. Our online booklet has received wonderful feedback and is a great resource for those looking for updates on our chapter, including our current members; so it is even more important to make sure your information online is up-to-date. Please use the following instructions to update your profile so we have your correct information:
We hope you enjoy the summer and will look forward to seeing you at Student Night in September.
BY CURTIS C. VERSCHOOR, CMA, CPA
This is an abstract from the article. For the full text, click here.
IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) has had a long-standing leadership role in promoting the highest ethical standards for the management accounting profession. In fact, IMA’s Ethics Center affirms that IMA “is committed to advocating the highest standards of ethical business practices, both for our members and the profession at large.”
After many changes in the business and regulatory environment since the Statement became effective—including the globalization of commerce and the management accounting profession—IMA determined to issue an updated version in 2017. This new Statement is the latest part of IMA’s strategy to advocate for the adoption, promotion, and execution of business practices that are consistent with the highest ethical standards.
The new Statement retains the general format and much of the language of the previous version, but it’s shorter and easier to apply. The previous version’s detailed and expansive section on dealing with and resolving ethical issues has been reduced in order to provide greater emphasis on the Standards section. The document retains a focus on ethical values and principles rather than formalization of prescriptive, precise, and legalistic rules. It encourages professional judgment, challenging members to demonstrate ethical behavior in every aspect of their lives. It also is aspirational, suggesting members should encourage others within their organizations to follow its provisions.
Although the new Statement became official upon its approval by the IMA Global Board of Directors, its subject matter won’t be tested on the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and the CSCA™ (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) examinations until test preparation providers can make necessary changes in their materials. The new Statement is also issued as an IMA Statement on Management Accounting (SMA), part of a series of research and guidance documents that address best practices for management accounting professionals—not just IMA members and CMAs. The new Statement is also being incorporated into the content of IMA professional ethics courses.
Unlike the overarching principles, which are aspirational and general in nature, the standards set forth four areas of enforceable conduct that members must uphold and comply with. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. The four standards require the application of specific steps involving the qualities of competence, confidentiality, integrity, and credibility. Each IMA member has a responsibility to comply with all of the standards.
Almost all of the requirements contained in the previous IMA Statement are carried forward to the new version. One exception is that the new competence standard adds the example of recognizing and helping to manage risk. This change acknowledges the increasing importance being placed on risk management and management accountants’ expanding responsibilities in this area. Another change is in the language of the new confidentiality standard. A phrase that might have mistakenly limited the scope of a management accountant’s confidentiality responsibilities to monitor only the compliance aspects of subordinates’ activities was deleted. The new version simply states the need to monitor the use of confidential information.
The integrity standard adds new requirements for IMA members to contribute to a positive ethical culture in their organization and to place integrity of the profession above personal interests. These requirements, which comprise possibly the most significant change from the previous IMA Statement, recognize the need for members to personally take an active part in ensuring that their organization has a strong, open, and positive ethical culture rather than a weak one. Silent acceptance of unethical policies and procedures isn’t sufficient. The rest of the integrity standard is identical to the previous version.
The new credibility standard now contains a requirement for communicating professional limitations or other constraints that would preclude responsible judgment or successful performance of an activity. Previously, this was in the competency standard.
RESOLVING ETHICAL ISSUES
The IMA Statement is unique among professional codes of conduct in that it provides suggested action steps designed to help resolve ethical issues. It isn’t part of the Standards section that IMA members are required to follow but rather contains suggested actions that IMA members and other accounting professionals may take to resolve unethical matters they may encounter.
The section states that members and other management accountants should work toward a solution of ethical issues and not just stand by and ignore them—while considering all of the risks involved and whether there are protections against retaliation for those who report the existence of an ethical issue.
Recommended actions include following the established policies of the employer organization, including use of an anonymous reporting system if available. Many organizations have developed policies and practices for dealing with and resolving ethical issues, and those policies and practices should be followed when they exist.
If the organization doesn’t have established policies and practices, members and others should consider the following courses of action. First, the resolution process could include a discussion with the member’s immediate supervisor. If the supervisor appears to be involved, the issue could be presented to the next level of management. Studies show that employees are comfortable discussing workplace issues with their supervisor in most situations, and this is likely to be the first step in resolving many ethical issues.
IMA offers an anonymous helpline that IMA members and other management accounting professionals can call to confidentially discuss how key elements of the IMA Statement could be applied to their ethical issue (see “IMA Ethics Helpline” below). To assist members and other professionals to best understand the legal context of their ethical issue, individuals should consider consulting their own attorney to learn about legal obligations, if any, as well as their rights and risks concerning the issue. They should expect the organization’s general counsel to represent the entity’s point of view rather than theirs.
Finally, if resolution efforts aren’t successful, the individual involved may want to consider disassociating from the organization. This guidance appeared in IMA’s first code of conduct that was issued in the 1980s. Although it wasn’t included in the 2005 version, it returns in this new version.
The revised IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice is a document IMA members can take pride in. They and other finance professionals can use it to form the basis of the ethics practices in their own organizations. Although a legal requirement to adopt a written code of conduct exists only for publicly held corporations in the United States, many private and not-for-profit organizations and other global entities have adopted portions of the IMA Statement as best business practices.
You will earn CMA and CPE credits when you attend any live webinar. Replay webinars are available in the archive but do not earn credits. Advance registration is recommended—IMA webinars are popular and fill up quickly.
Creating a Travel and Expense Policy That Employees Will Actually Follow
The Impact of Social Media on Leadership
The Future Role of Finance -
Going Beyond Implementation - Realizing the Full Value of Your ERP Investment Through Benefit Realization
Controlling the Chaos of the Close
Leading Across Generations
2017-2018 tech sessions will be held at Kozmo's Grille with the exceptions noted below. There are two hour-long sessions beginning at 5:00 and 6:30 and dinner in between.
Cost for dinner is $30 regardless of the location. Please look for invite emails with registration information prior to each meeting.
§ Social/Networking at 4:45 pm
§ Pre-Dinner Technical Session at 5:00
§ Dinner at 6:00 pm
§ Post-Dinner Technical Session at 6:30 pm
More info: http://canton.imanet.org
The mission of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) 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. Please join us as we promote this mission in the greater Canton, Ohio, area.