Challenging times lie ahead. My grandfather and his generation had a decent pension, and I am well aware that there won’t be much left for me when it’s my time to retire. We are living longer than ever before, and our natural resources (if they were ever ‘ours’) are scarce. It’s important that we learn from the mistakes of past generations and realise that resources are not endless, and that however old we become we are not invincible.
A Canadian friend recently posted on Facebook about the imminent closure of the Heinz factory in his local town ('the tomato capital of Canada') following a review of the company’s supply chain. The factory currently employs 740 staff as well as 500 seasonal workers, and reportedly buys around 45% of all tomatoes grown in Ontario. Needless to say, the news was not popular with the local community, and rumblings of ketchup boycotts were rife.
Countdown has begun to the next CIMA examination diet. How prepared are you in regard to the Code of Ethics and applying ethical thinking? Being familar with the Code and how you apply it is an integral part of both studying and practicing as a management accountant. Through the syllabus questions will arise on how you apply your understanding of the Code as well as your understanding of financial regulations and the law.
With the May exams looming, are you clear on how to apply an ethical framework to the questions posed? Ethical issues are threaded throughout all stages of CIMA exams (below) and you will need to be able to show you would analyse the situation appropriately and respond.
Being guided through the CIMA code of ethics is key and there are a number of resources available to help you think through how to do the right thing.
I recently was at an United Nations Global Compact meeting
with a focus on supply chain issues. Reflecting the growing importance of supply chain gobally the event was standing room only. One of the participants, involved in procurement for a high value global brand, sought to ascertain the credentials of the factories they were using in China Each of the 20 factories had been fully audited. The system showed that.
Will you be able to evidence integrity in your exams? Fact or Fiction is a new report compiling discussions from four markets in Europe, Asia and Africa outlining the skills needed to be a successful business partner. As finance partners more frequently with different functional units it is important to re-affirm independence and objectivity.
In the week we launched the CGMA ethics theme I attended a lecture at St Paul’s Cathedral given by the eminent professor of government at Harvard University, Michael Sandel on the moral limits of the market. The “congregation” was at full capacity at nearly 1800.
When was the last time you faced an ethical dilemma at work? And what did you do about it? As a CIMA member or student you are obliged to take action. To do so you should ensure you are familiar with the Code of Ethics, which helps guides you to do the right thing.
In our upcoming CGMA report on ethics, our members and students globally reported that human rights had risen in importance as an issue of priority for business. Reflecting this, March saw the launch of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.
Is Tony Scales winning the war on fraud and corruption at Miralux? Is he deeply committed to a greener planet? Or is Tony, like many chief executives, caught in the trap of his own rhetoric? Find out in ‘Words in Action’, a new edrama series.
‘Words in Action’ – where rhetoric and reality collide! Learn about fighting fraud and corruption, and what real commitment to sustainability is.
Just a reminder that if you haven't had a look yet, check out the new CGMA site at www.cgma.org as there is lots to discover. My colleagues and I have been spending the last few months, beavering away to bring CGMAs some exciting new thought leadership reports and tools.
The final UN Global Compact meeting of the year focused upon Rio +20 UN conference on sustainable development, scheduled for June 2012. The day the UK UNGC participants gathered in London, the announcement of the outcome of the Durban climate change meetings was still fresh. After protracted negotiation a level of agreement was reached.
Sustainability is becoming as much of an important part of a large company’s annual reporting as their financials. But SMEs are catching up and recognising that acting sustainably brings business benefits.
At the CIMA & Tomorrow’s company event last week the theme was Leading with Integrity: engaging hearts as well as minds. As part of the Tomorrow’s Values series the session explored how employees align with a company’s values. Values and trust are evidenced by people and their behaviours - not just by tickboxing around rules and policies – although such regulations are important in framing the environment and creating the push…..
The United National Global Compact (UNGC) meeting in London recently focused on anti-corruption initiatives globally. In recognition of the overall cost to business, and wider economy and society of corrupt practices, principle ten of the UNGC is: "Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery."
Companies that have an integrated approach to sustainability take a holistic approach to the strategy and management of the organisation; one that not only considers financial performance, but also the risks and opportunities inherent in the impacts of the organisation on the environment and society in which it operates, as well as the impacts of environmental and societal trends on the organisation.
In the past decade, there’s been a strategic shift in business management to embrace sustainability. The need for reporting and communicating the efforts being made has come alongside this trend.
Sustainability is no longer a voluntary part of business operations; a nice-to-have and “let’s do a bit of good on the side”. It’s become a business imperative with a focus on strategic implementation and sustainability becoming a way to create competitive advantage within the corporate workforce.
The 19th century philosopher Kierkergaard’s quote struck me as a challenge for finance professionals - linking existentialism and management accounting. As our members and students are engaged in informing decision making based on the facts at hand, how best can they ensure that companies progress well, ensuring profitability and success whilst mitigating risk and damage in the longer term. Not only in relation to the firm, but to society at large, and to themselves personally.