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Ethical performance has become a bigger focus for senior management
over the past three years.

Staff training on ethics ‘key to business success’

LONDON, December 9, 2014

Ethical performance is getting more attention from organisations around the world, but many need to improve staff training and communication to truly embed an ethical culture, a report said.

Ethical performance has become a bigger focus for senior management over the past three years, said 51 per cent of management accountants surveyed for the report by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) in collaboration with the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

Fifty-five per cent of those surveyed expect the importance to grow over the next three years, the report said.

The vast majority, 89 per cent, reported that their organisations have a code of conduct or ethical policy in place. But more than a third said that staff communication on these policies is only occasional.

Two out of five said their organisations have yet to create channels, such as training, to raise ethical standards and fewer than half said their organisations provide anti-corruption training for all staff.

The report entitled “Ethical Performance” cautions that inadequate ability to apply ethical performance day-to-day raises risks of reputational damage; staff operating without proper remit; and higher levels of corruption.

Charles Tilley, chief executive, CIMA, said: “While it is encouraging to see that so many organisations have an ethical policy in place, any organisation that fails to ensure it resonates with its people due to irregular or poor communication is missing a vital step in improving ethical behaviour.

“CGMAs, who must abide by a rigorous code of professional conduct, have a critical role to play and can act as partners to support the rest of the business in developing and integrating the right policies. They also have a crucial role to play in communicating ethical policies in a way that ensures staff can apply them for the benefit of the organisation.”

Geetu Ahuja, head of GCC, CIMA, said: “Management accountants are well-placed to offer constructive view of the business processes and challenge any obsolete practices that hinder growth and profitability. They are essentially the ethical conscience of their organisation and will continue to play a key role as senior management rely on their expertise to develop a locally relevant business ethics and code of conduct in the Middle East.”

The report set out the ways in which organisations can develop and embed an appropriate ethical culture:

•    Make it a strategic priority

•    Set the tone from the top

•    Develop a code of ethics / conduct

•    Develop and support routes to report suspected violations

•    Engage staff and other stakeholders

•    Focus on training

•    Measure effectiveness and revisit regularly  - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: management | ethics | Chartered Accountants | CIMA |

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