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Top 5 Ethics Resources

With the importance of ethics and non-financial reporting rising on the global agenda, accounting professionals are in a unique position to make an important contribution to creating a sustainable ethical operating environment. The AICPA and CIMA have developed a number of resources to assist CPA, CGMAs in guiding their organizations to long-term sustainability and success, but these resources shed light on the challenges many CPA business clients face, and so apply to CPAs in a firm setting as well.

Here are our top five.

  1. The Managing responsible business – a global survey on business ethics report explores the importance placed on business ethics, ethical performance and ethical management within organizations, and the specific role played and challenges faced by accounting professionals. The survey findings show that there are pressure points and ethical gaps within organizations and highlights the role accountants can take in reducing those gaps.
  2. Accountants add value by supporting and driving the right decisions in all areas of a business. They help colleagues understand income and costs and risks and opportunities. Focusing on an organization’s future prospects, in addition to understanding and learning from past performance, accountants know how the different parts of a business come together. Responding to ethical dilemmas: CGMA ethics resources provides links to resources to help accounting professionals navigate ethical dilemmas and respond in a manner that upholds their career success.
  3. The CGMA case study: Navigating ethical issues highlights issues related to non-disclosure at the corporate level that come to the attention of non-executive financial managers and controllers. This case study places you in the role of corporate controller for a large public company, making decisions that will not only affect your future, but the future of many others. The facts of this hypothetical case cover integrity and objectivity, confidentiality, internal accounting controls, and procedures for investigating and reporting irregularities.
  4. The Ethical reflection checklist was designed to provide organizations and individuals with an overview of how well ethical practices are embedded in the business. Firms can leverage this checklist with their clients to open the discussion on business ethics in the workplace. Questions cover areas such as ethical statements and codes of conduct, training, collection of ethical data and reporting of ethical issues, and support when faced with ethical dilemmas.
  5. CGMAs can connect to a global network of peers via CGMA's online community. Log on to access exclusive blog posts, discussions and polls on ethics and other hot topics affecting CGMAs. Join the discussion and access the best minds in management accounting.

With the backing of a strong ethical culture, all accountants can be highly effective in playing what we believe is a key role—drawing on both their training and understanding of professional ethics, as well as their skills in obtaining, analyzing and acting upon management information—to guide their organizations, or those of their clients, to long-term sustainability. We encourage you to explore these and the many other resources available on cgma.org and to consider becoming a CGMA.

Chrissy Jones, MBA, AICPA Staff.

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