While every aspect of our personal lives is affected by our subjective approach to ethics, when it comes to our professional behavior, IMA has taken a leadership role by promulgating the IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice. For more than 30 years, IMA has advocated the importance of promoting a positive ethical culture, as well as subordinating personal interests beneath the following four principles and standards (in words taken directly from the Statement).

Principles: Honesty, Fairness, Objectivity, and Responsibility.


Competence. Leadership, knowledge, skills, standards, decision support, and risk management;

Confidentiality. Appropriate disclosure and proper use of confidential information;

Integrity. Conflict and management of bias, promoting positive ethical actions; and

Credibility. Relevant and reliable communication of information and boundaries.

These principles and standards reflect IMA’s ongoing commitment to being an industry leader in the highest ethical practices. As part of that commitment, IMA updated the Statement last year to provide even clearer, easier-to-apply guidelines on how to behave ethically.

What, then, should you do as a CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) or other IMA member if questionable ethical practices cross your path? You can always speak with your supervisor or manager, and IMA has a free, confidential Ethics Helpline designed to provide clarification of how to properly apply the IMA Statement to a given situation. It’s available at (800) 245-1383 for members in the United States and Canada; other members can find specific instructions on the IMA Ethics Center page: http://bit.ly/2vBrWmW.

For all of us, ethics is an art, a skill we should attempt to master over the course of our professional lives. I welcome your comments at aeng@imanet.org.

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