A recent global study has found that, while more organisations are reported to have a code of ethics or conduct, fewer appear to be actively practising them and there are greater pressures within organisations to act unethically.
Chartered Global Management Accountant is a new joint venture between the American Institute of CPAs and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
The CGMA mission is to promote the science of management accounting on the global stage. The designation champions management accountants and the value they add to an organisation.
One of the drivers for the creation of this entity is global community demand for a higher standard of ethics in business fuelled by the GFC.
CGMA recently conducted a survey on "Managing responsible business - a global survey on business ethics" which explores the importance placed on business ethics, ethical performance and ethical management within organisations, and the specific role played and challenges faced by individual chartered global management accountants (CGMAs).,
Some of the key findings reported were:
Business challenge 1 - Ethical Culture
- A 10% -15% increase in organisations providing both statements of ethical values and a code of ethics as well as related training, provision of hotlines and incentives such as performance based rewards.
- Corporate leadership appears to be less actively engaged in reviewing and taking responsibility for ethical performance compared to 2008. A weakened ‘tone from the top' has potentially serious implications for the overall ethical operating culture of an organisation.
Business challenge 2 - Accounting for ethics
- Almost 20% increase in organisations both collecting (35%) and reporting (39%) ethical information.
- The majority of management accountants (62%) feel it is important to collect and analyse ethical information, but one in five do not believe their organisation will do so in the near future.
Business challenge 3 - Ethical dilemmas and pressures
- Despite an increase in ethical codes and training, there is greater pressure within organisations to act unethically. Pressures are most apparent in emerging economies.
- The majority of those who observe unethical conduct report it.
Business challenge 4 - Business Issues
- Security of information remains the greatest issues of concern across all markets.
- Bribery has risen from 6th to 3rd in the rankings of issues of concern, reflecting the intensifying of anti-bribery and corruption legislation.
- Fewer now believe that business has a moral imperative to help address global issues with a decline from 84% to 77% since 2008.
Do you have a code of conduct or code of ethics in your business?
If so, do you religiously practise what you preach?