Statement of Ethical Professional Practice
IMA STATEMENT OF ETHICAL PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
Members of EFMAC shall be committed to ethical professional practices and adhere to the principles of Integrity, Objectivity and Creditability, Professional Competence and Due Care, Confidentiality and Professional Behavior.
All financial management professionals shall follow these principles in the performance of their work and encourage their peers within and outside their organizations to adhere to them.
1.1 Integrity refers to the quality or behavior of straightforwardness and honesty that financial management professionals should have in performing their work and dealing with business relationships. Integrity also implies fair dealing and truthfulness.
1.2 A financial management professional shall not knowingly be associated with reports, returns, communications or other information where he or she believes that the information:
a) Contains a materially false or misleading statement;
b) Contains statements or information furnished recklessly; or
c) Omits or obscures information required to be included where such omission or obscurity would be misleading. When a financial management professional becomes aware that he or she has been associated with such information, he or she shall take steps to be disassociated from that information.
1.3 A financial management professional will be deemed not in breach of Article 1.2 if he or she gives due disclosure of the actual situation in Article 1.2 or has shown discretion in the form of a modified report, statement of reservations or other appropriate communications.
2. Objectivity and Creditability
2.1 Objectivity refers to the way of approaching or dealing with an issue and the judgment or conclusion made on it are free from bias, conflict of interests or undue influence from others.
2.2 A financial management professional may be exposed to situations that may impair his or her objectivity. It is impracticable to define and prescribe all such situations. A financial management professional shall not perform a professional service if a bias-inflicting circumstance or relationship will influence his or her professional judgment with respect to that service.
2.3 Creditability refers to the truthful disclosure of information, including reports, statements or briefings, which can reflect the fact. A financial management professional has a responsibility to:
a. Communicate information fairly and objectively and avoid using terms or tones that may cause misleading.
b. Disclose all relevant information that could influence an intended user's understanding of the reports, analysis, or recommendations.
c. Disclose all irregularities or deficiencies in various links of the financial management process that a financial management professional find or encounter in his or her work.
3. Professional Competence and Due Care
3.1 Professional Competence and Due Care refers to the quality required of a financial management professional to maintain professional knowledge and skills at the level required to ensure that a client or employer receives competent professional services based on current developments in practice, legislation and techniques and act diligently and in accordance with applicable technical and professional standards.
3.2 Competent professional service requires the exercise of sound judgment in applying professional knowledge and skill in the performance of such service. Professional Competence may be divided into two separate phases:
a) Attainment of professional competence; and
b) Maintenance of professional competence.
3.3 The maintenance of professional competence requires a continuing awareness and an understanding of relevant technical, professional and business developments. Continuing professional development enables a financial management professional to develop and maintain the capabilities to perform competently within the professional environment.
3.4 Due Care requires diligence to act in accordance with the requirements of an assignment, carefully, thoroughly and on a timely basis.
3.5 A financial management professional shall take reasonable steps to ensure that those working under his or her authority in a professional capacity have appropriate training and supervision.
3.6 Where appropriate, a financial management professional shall make clients, employers or other users of his or her professional services aware of the limitations inherent in the services.
4.1 Confidentiality requires all financial management professionals not to:
a) Disclose to those outside the firm or employing organization confidential information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships without proper and specific authorization unless a legal or professional right or duty explicitly requires otherwise;
b) Use confidential information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships to their personal advantage or the advantage of third parties.
4.2 A financial management professional shall maintain confidentiality, including in a social environment, being alert to the possibility of inadvertent disclosure, particularly to a close business associate or a close or immediate family member.
4.3 A financial management professional shall maintain confidentiality of information disclosed by a prospective client or employer.
4.4 A financial management professional shall maintain confidentiality of information within the firm or employing organization.
4.5 A financial management professional shall take reasonable steps to ensure that staff under his or her professional control and persons whose advice and assistance is obtained respect his or her duty of confidentiality.
4.6 The need to comply with the principle of confidentiality continues even after the end of relationships between a financial management professional and a client or employer. When a financial management professional changes employment or acquires a new client, the financial management professional is entitled to use prior experience. The professional shall not, however, use or disclose any confidential information either acquired or received as a result of a professional or business relationship.
4.7 The following are circumstances where financial management professionals are or may be required to disclose confidential information or when such disclosure may be appropriate:
a) Disclosure is permitted by law and is authorized by the client or the employer;
b) Disclosure is required by law, for example:
i) Production of documents or other provision of evidence in the course of legal proceedings; or
ii) Disclosure to the appropriate public authorities of infringements of the law that come to light; and
c) There is a professional duty or right to disclose, when not prohibited by law:
i) To comply with the quality review of a member body or professional body;
ii) To respond to an inquiry or investigation by a member body or regulatory body;
iii) To protect the professional interests of a financial management professional in legal proceedings; or
v) To comply with technical standards and ethics requirements.
4.8 In deciding whether to disclose confidential information, relevant factors to consider include:
a) Whether the interests of all parties, including third parties whose interests may be affected, could be harmed if the client or employer consents to the disclosure of information by the financial management professional.
b) Whether all the relevant information is known and substantiated, to the extent it is practicable; when the situation involves unsubstantiated facts, incomplete information or unsubstantiated conclusions, professional judgment shall be used in determining the type of disclosure to be made, if any.
c) The type of communication that is expected and to whom it is addressed.
d) Whether the parties to whom the communication is addressed are appropriate recipients.
5. Professional Behavior
5.1 The principle of professional behavior imposes an obligation on all financial management professionals to comply with relevant laws and regulations and avoid any action that may discredit the profession.
5 .2 In marketing and promoting themselves and their work, financial management professionals shall not bring the profession into disrepute. Financial management professionals shall be honest and truthful and not:
a) Make exaggerated claims for the services they are able to offer, the qualifications they possess, or experience they have gained; or
b) Make disparaging references or unsubstantiated comparisons to the work of others.
Resolution of Ethical Conflict
In applying the Ethical Professional Practice, you may encounter problems identifying unethical behavior or resolving an ethical conflict. When faced with ethical issues, you should follow your organization's established policies on the resolution of such conflicts. If these policies do not resolve the ethical conflict, you should consider the following courses of action:
1.Discuss the issue with your immediate supervisor except when it appears that the supervisor is involved. In that case, present the issue to the next level. If you cannot achieve a satisfactory resolution, submit the issue to the next management level. If your immediate superior is the chief executive officer or equivalent, the acceptable reviewing authority may be a group such as the audit committee, executive committee, board of directors, board of trustees, or owners. Contact with levels above the immediate superior should be initiated only with your superior's knowledge, assuming he or she is not involved. Communication of such problems to authorities or individuals not employed or engaged by the organization is not considered appropriate, unless you believe there is a clear violation of the law.
2.Clarify relevant ethical issues by initiating a confidential discussion with an EFMAC Ethics Counselor or other impartial adviser to obtain a better understanding of possible courses of action.
3.Consult your own lawyers as to legal obligations and rights concerning the ethical conflict.