About IMA®

IMA Comments on Proposed Changes to IESBA Code of Ethics for Accountants

December 19, 2012

Marc Gerrone
(201) 474-1502

Tara Baumgarten
Stern + Associates(
908) 276-4344, x-219

Montvale, N.J., December 18, 2012IMA®, one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession, has released a public comment letter to The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA).


IMA’s comment letter was written by its Committee on Ethics in response to IESBA’s request for comment on its exposure draft: “Proposed Changes to the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants Responding to a Suspected Illegal Act.” IESBA’s proposal describes the circumstances in which a professional accountant is required or expected to breach confidentiality in response to suspected illegal acts committed by a client or employer. To read IMA’s full letter, visit: http://www.imanet.org/pdfs/IESBA_response_letter_12.13.12.pdf.


Drawing from IMA’s own Statement of Ethical Professional Practice, key recommendations made by IMA’s Committee on Ethics include:

  • A mere suspicion is not enough of a basis to breach confidentiality – instead, the issue should be communicated externally only if it involves a clear violation of the law.
  • There can be many instances of employees suspecting things that perhaps they don’t have the background to fully understand, and to report this externally without it being a “clear violation of the law” would be irresponsible and could potentially unfairly damage the reputation of the organization and set the accountant up for unnecessary potential legal actions.
  • Before breaching confidentiality, accountants should seek professional legal assistance to determine the best course of action, as different situations and jurisdictions may lead to varied recommended outcomes.

“As the foremost association serving accountants in business, IMA appreciates the opportunity to provide input on this comment letter,” said Joshua S. Atlas, CMA, CFM, CFE, chair of IMA’s Committee on Ethics. “Sound ethical behavior is crucial to the future of our profession, and IESBA’s exposure draft raises the awareness of important ethical issues for both managerial and public accountants.”


To learn more about IMA’s Committee on Ethics and its advocacy efforts, visit: http://www.imanet.org/resources_and_publications/ethics_center_helpline.aspx.


About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA®, the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 65,000 members in 120 countries and 200 local chapter communities. IMA provides localized services through its offices in Montvale, N.J., USA; Zurich, Switzerland; Dubai, UAE; and Beijing, China. For more information about IMA, please visit www.imanet.org.

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Source: www.imanet.org

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