Economic slowdown ‘increases pressure to act unethically’

Tanya Barman, CIMA's head of ethics
Tanya Barman, CIMA's head of ethics

Management accountants are being put under growing pressure to act unethically, a meeting in Milton Keynes heard.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) met at the National Badminton Centre, in Bradwell Road, to hear from CIMA head of ethics, Tanya Barman.

The meeting discussed the findings of a global survey of almost 2,000 Chartered Global Management Accountants that found in nearly 80 countries bribery was identified one of the top ethical issues for their organisation. A fifth (20 per cent) of respondents also felt under more pressure to compromise personal or professional standards of ethical conduct in time of economic slowdown.

Pressures come from working with colleagues from different areas within the organisation, meeting reporting deadlines and compiling management accounts and dealing with customers.

The findings were analysed in a report called Managing Responsible Business. It found 86 per cent of respondents felt upholding their own professional code of ethics was the main way they contributed to management of ethical performance.

Sue Stapleford, CIMA area chair, said at the meeting on May 7: “Management Accountants in Milton Keynes know so much of their organisation’s activities that they can champion the difficult balance between ethical transparency and business confidence. They are in an excellent position to be part of the ethical conscience of their organisation.”