Page 1: Introduction
CIMA, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, is the world's largest professional body of management accountants, with over 203,000 students and members in 173 countries. CIMA offers a professional accounting qualification with an emphasis on management. This makes it suitable for people with the ambition to become accountants or managers in business. Many CIMA members study for the qualification after completing a degree. Others may start straight from school as there are no minimum entry requirements.
Management accounting and financial accounting are not the same. Financial accountants look at the past performance of a business and report on its current state. Management accountants help businesses to make decisions about the future using both financial and non-financial data. CIMA’s members are at the heart of business, helping them to maintain financial control and stability at all stages of the business cycle. Members work in private, public and not-for-profit businesses in all sectors of the economy. Employers recognise that CIMA members can add value to a business as they are professionally qualified accountants who can not only report on the business but also support the business.
Ethical and professional standards
CIMA members and students uphold the highest ethical and professional standards. Ethics, in business, may be defined as taking decisions for the right moral reasons, taking into account the wider needs of all stakeholders. Ethics is central to the work of CIMA members.
The largest body of accountants in the world is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the AICPA. The AICPA and CIMA have joined together to form a joint venture which powers a new designation for management accountants, the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). CGMA is designed to elevate management accounting and recognises the unique role played by management accountants in businesses around the world who are guiding critical business decisions and driving strong business performance.
This case study examines how CIMA qualified management accountants apply ethical standards to help support and direct strategic decision making and the setting of business strategies.