The world’s largest body of management accountants has updated its code of ethics for accountants to handle the digitalized decade ahead.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has an updated Code that will come into force on 1 January 2020. Launched to wrap-up the Institute’s month-long campaign exploring ethics in the age of digital transformation, the new Code builds on the core principles of ethics of the management accounting profession and ensures that finance professionals are equipped with the tools and resources they need to safeguard the accounting profession and public interest as they enter the 2020s.

All CIMA members and students are required to comply with the Code of Ethics and apply its fundamental principles to their working lives. They have a duty to observe the highest standards of conduct and integrity and uphold the good standing and reputation of the management accounting profession. Failure to do so can result in a sanction being enforced against a member or a CIMA student, including financial fines and – in the case of members – expulsion from the profession.

Said Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, Chief Executive – Management Accounting: “At a time where new and emerging technologies are having a profound impact on the way we do business, public trust in business is eroding faster than ever. With the growing strategic importance of the finance function, it is essential that our profession continues to uphold the highest ethical standards and guide their organisations to do business responsibly.”

According to Harding, management accountants use their skills and competencies to combine financial and non-financial data, translate this information into meaningful and actionable business insights that enable business leaders to make better decisions. This includes a responsibility to act ethically, foster ethical management processes and a duty to act in the public interest. The introduction of the updated Code reinforces those values and supports all members to face the professional challenges of our digital world.

CIMA provides a range of resources – support guide, videos, e-tools, reports, case studies – designed to help members and students understand the CIMA Code of Ethics and help them prepare for ethical challenges they may face in their roles. CIMA also offers a free, confidential helpline and inbox for members and students who may be facing an ethical dilemma and need further advice.