Skip to main content

Professional Body & Professionalism - 2

This is part 2 of the topic Professional Body and Professionalism by CMA B V Prabhakar. He discusses on how accounting bodies IMA-USA, ICWAI-INDIA & ICSI-INDIA apply the above principles.

View CMA B V Prabhakar's LinkedIn profileView CMA B V Prabhakar's profile

Efforts of different professional bodies to promote professionalism.

Let us now see the case of three Professional Bodies, IMA-USA, ICWAI-INDIA & ICSI-INDIA, and compile how these Professional Accounting Bodies ensure, build and promote Professionalism among its members.


The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA®) is the world's leading organization dedicated to empowering management accounting and finance professionals to drive business performance.

With a network of about 60,000 professionals, IMA provides a dynamic forum for management accounting and financial professionals to develop and advance their careers through its Certified Management Accountant (CMA®) program, cutting-edge professional research and practice development, education, networking, and the advocacy of the highest ethical and professional practices.

Vision Statement

The world's leading association for management accounting and finance professionals.

Mission Statement

To provide a dynamic forum for management accounting and finance professionals to develop and advance their careers through certification, research and practice development, education, networking, and the advocacy of the highest ethical and professional practices.

A. Statement of Ethical Professional Practice as issued by IMA:

Members of IMA shall behave ethically. A commitment to ethical professional practice includes overarching principles that express our values, and standards that guide our conduct.


IMA's overarching ethical principles include: Honesty, Fairness, Objectivity, and Responsibility.

Members shall act in accordance with these principles and shall encourage others within their organizations to adhere to them.


A member's failure to comply with the following standards may result in disciplinary action.


Each member has a responsibility to:
  1. Maintain an appropriate level of professional expertise by continually developing knowledge and skills.
  2. Perform professional duties in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and technical standards.
  3. Provide decision support information and recommendations that are accurate, clear, concise, and timely.
  4. Recognize and communicate professional limitations or other constraints that would preclude responsible judgement or successful performance of an activity.


Each member has a responsibility to:
  1. Keep information confidential except when disclosure is authorized or legally required.
  2. Inform all relevant parties regarding appropriate use of confidential information. Monitor subordinates' activities to ensure compliance.
  3. Refrain from using confidential information for unethical or illegal advantage.


Each member has a responsibility to:
  1. Mitigate actual conflicts of interest, regularly communicate with business associates to avoid apparent conflicts of interest. Advise all parties of any potential conflicts.
  2. Refrain from engaging in any conduct that would prejudice carrying out duties ethically.
  3. Abstain from engaging in or supporting any activity that might discredit the profession.


Each member has a responsibility to:

  1. Communicate information fairly and objectively.
  2. Disclose all relevant information that could reasonably be expected to influence an intended user's understanding of the reports, analyses, or recommendations.
  3. Disclose delays or deficiencies in information, timeliness, processing, or internal controls in conformance with organization policy and/or applicable law.


In applying the Standards of Ethical Professional Practice, members may encounter problems identifying unethical behaviour or resolving an ethical conflict.

When faced with ethical issues, members should follow their organization's established policies on the resolution of such conflict.

If these policies do not resolve the ethical conflict, then members should consider the following courses of action:

  1. Discuss the issue with the immediate supervisor except when it appears that the supervisor is involved. In that case, present the issue to the next level. If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, submit the issue to the next management level. If the immediate superior is the chief executive officer or equivalent, the acceptable reviewing authority may be a group such as the audit committee, executive committee, board of directors, board of trustees, or owners. Contact with levels above the immediate superior should be initiated only with the superior's knowledge, assuming he or she is not involved.
  2. Clarify relevant ethical issues by initiating a confidential discussion with an IMA Ethics Counsellor or other impartial advisor to obtain a better understanding of possible courses of action.
  3. Consult own attorney as to legal obligations and rights concerning the ethical conflict.

Mission of the Ethics Program

Encourage organizations and individuals to adopt, promote and execute business practices consistent with high ethical standards, by providing valuable insight into the complexities that result from social and technological change.

The following definition of ethics is provided as a foundation for IMA members.

"Ethics in its broader sense, deals with human conduct in relation to what is morally good and bad, right and wrong. It is the application of values to decision making. These values include honesty, fairness, responsibility, respect and compassion." - Rushworth Kidder, President, Institute for Global Ethics

As already explained above, IMA offers an ethics helpline service. Members of IMA as well as other financial professionals may contact this helpline for free, confidential guidance on ethical issues.

The purpose of the helpline is to provide guidance to those in the profession that find themselves in an ethical dilemma.

After a preliminary discussion of the problem to determine the kind of ethics matter being reported, an ethics counsellor will respond to the caller. Confidentiality is maintained at all times. The counsellor will not provide a specific resolution but will explain how the dilemma relates to the provisions of IMA's Statement of Ethical Professional Practice.


CMAs are required to maintain their proficiency in the fields of management accounting and financial management. This includes knowledge of new concepts and techniques as well as their application in the management accounting and financial management professions. The objective is to maintain the professional competence of the individual and to enhance one’s ability to perform job-related requirements. The continuing education requirement is 30 hours per year.

A broad range of subjects may be included in the programs for which hours of credit will be given

- all aspects of accounting, financial management, business applications of mathematics and statistics, computer science, economics, management, production, marketing, business law, and organizational behaviour.

All CMAs are required to complete a minimum 2 hours of continuing education on the subject of ethics as part of their 30-hour annual CPE requirement.

IMA’s Statement of Ethical Professional Practice as depicted above, is an excellent framework for determining the types of ethical topics that are acceptable. The focus of the ethics education should be principally in the area of management accounting and financial management.

Topics should include ethical considerations in the area of decision support, planning and control for accounting and finance professionals working inside organizations. Members are encouraged to address specific scenarios such as fraud in financial reporting, manipulation of budgets for personal gain, disclosure of confidential financial information and coverage of ethics within general business environment.

To be continued.... Part 3

Do you like to be updated in Accountancy ?

Click here to get updates by Email in your inbox

Subscribe in a reader

Visit MA Stores ? You will find something you are looking for ....

You may also like to read

  1. Profession v/s Professionalism - 1
  2. Lowballing
  3. Membership of an Accounting Body - Value Proposition


Popular posts from this blog

Poll : Does CIMA, UK qualification add value

Poll : Does pursuing CIMA, UK qualification add value to a member of ICWAI, India ? Vote on the poll and share your thoughts by commenting the blog. Poll: Vote here I feel that if you are a member of ICWAI and you pursue CIMA, UK qualification, you are not adding any value to your skills since you will be learning the same. Once you are qualified, you are still a Cost & Management Accountant but from UK. For an employer, I would still have same skills and training on Management Accounting. However if you pursue qualification like Company Secretary or CPA or ACCA , your skills are enhanced with the knowledge gained during training and passing of exams. After qualification, you are bound to follow the CPD programs of ICWAI and other institute. In competitive world, employer look for people with multiple skills. Which one promotes you as professional better against your name: AICWA, ACMA or AICWA, ACS or AICWA, CPA or AICWA, ACCA Widgets Regards, Santosh

Learning Curve Theory

Learning Curve Theory is concerned with the idea that when a new job, process or activity commences for the first time it is likely that the workforce involved will not achieve maximum efficiency immediately. Repetition of the task is likely to make the people more confident and knowledgeable and will eventually result in a more efficient and rapid operation. Eventually the learning process will stop after continually repeating the job. As a consequence the time to complete a task will initially decline and then stabilise once efficient working is achieved. The cumulative average time per unit is assumed to decrease by a constant percentage every time that output doubles. Cumulative average time refers to the average time per unit for all units produced so far, from and including the first one made. Major areas within management accounting where learning curve theory is likely to have consequences and suggest potential limitations of this theory. Areas of consequence: A Standard

Resistence to Change - Approaches of Kotter and Schlesinger

The Six (6) Change Approaches of Kotter and Schlesinger is a model to prevent, decrease or minimize resistance to change in organizations. According to Kotter and Schlesinger (1979), there are four reasons that certain people are resisting change : Parochial self-interest (some people are concerned with the implication of the change for themselves ad how it may effect their own interests, rather than considering the effects for the success of the business) Misunderstanding (communication problems; inadequate information) Low tolerance to change (certain people are very keen on security and stability in their work) Different assessments of the situation (some employees may disagree on the reasons for the change and on the advantages and disadvantages of the change process) Kotter and Schlesinger set out the following six (6) change approaches to deal with this resistance to cha