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Ethics Is the Cornerstone

By Christian Cuzick, CMA
October 1, 2019
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The end of the year is just around the corner, and, if you’re a CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) like I am, this often brings with it a sudden scramble to earn those mandatory continuing professional education (CPE) credits. It’s human nature to procrastinate, but IMA® just made it easier for CMAs to earn their required credits on a topic that is the cornerstone of the profession and our great association: ethics.

 

Ethics has been woven into the fabric of IMA since its earliest days. A Committee on Ethics was among the first standing committees of the National Association of Cost Accountants (NACA), as IMA was first known, when it was founded 100 years ago this very month. More than 60 years later, in 1983, we authored the first written standards of ethical professional conduct for the management accounting profession. Now known as the IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice, that statement has been revised and updated throughout the years—most recently in 2017—to reflect changes in the business and regulatory environment and to ensure it stays relevant to the profession.

 

Yet while the capabilities needed to succeed in our profession have changed, how to apply ethics to decision making remains foundational. We need only to look at headlines over the past decade to know what happens when there are lapses in ethical judgment and conduct. Management accountants serve as trusted business advisors, often shaping critical decisions that impact many individuals and institutions. We serve key stakeholders—management, customers, shareholders, the public at large—so we must be guided by a strong ethical compass if we are to be worthy of the responsibility entrusted to us.

 

IMA last month took that commitment to ethics a step further by making it even easier for members to obtain ethics-related CPE. We created a new “token” program that gives members access to two free IMA ethics CPE credits each membership year. This new program is just one of the ways that IMA is continually looking to find ways to deliver greater value to members. I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity. As of this writing, just one week after the program was launched, more than 700 members have already redeemed their token and started down the path toward earning their ethics CPE with IMA products. Join them and help keep your commitment to ethics firm and unwavering.

 

I welcome your comments on this or any other topic at christian.cuzick@imanet.org.

 

Christian Cuzick, CMA, is vice president of finance at Johnson & Johnson Vision in Santa Ana, Calif., and Chair of the IMA Global Board of Directors. Follow him on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/christiancuzick, or Twitter, @cuzickc.
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