As a 29-year member of the AICPA, I applaud the article, “ Ensuring Ethical Effectiveness ” ( JofA , Feb.03, page 28). The article provided valuable information about the requirements in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for publicly traded companies to disclose whether they have adopted a code of ethics for their senior financial officers, and if not, why.
It also mentioned a New York Stock Exchange proposal that would require all companies traded on that exchange to adopt corporate guidelines and a code of business conduct and ethics for all employees. If the SEC approves this proposal, it will mean that many publicly traded companies will be searching for guidance in developing codes of ethical conduct for their employees.
CPAs may provide assistance to their corporate clients in the development of codes of conduct for employees involved in financial management. While the article identified several organizations that can help accountants charged with developing, implementing or monitoring a corporation’s code of ethics, it did not discuss the Institute of Management Accountants. The IMA has offered the opportunity for any financial professional to contact its ethics hot line toll-free at 800-638-4427, extension 1662, or to send inquiries via e-mail to its professional ethics counseling service at email@example.com . In addition, the IMA permits corporations to use its standards of ethical conduct for compliance with section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley.
Speaking as a longtime professor of management accounting who has integrated ethics education into the classroom, I can wholeheartedly endorse the IMA’s 20-year-old code of ethics. The one-page code is simple and yet provides ample guidance at no charge for proper ethical conduct for persons engaged in management accounting and financial management. It is the IMA’s desire to provide a service to the betterment of the financial community, as the AICPA and the Financial Executives International organizations do.
Roland L. Madison, CPA
Professor of Accountancy
John Carroll University