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Section 110: The fundamental principles

General

110.1 A1      There are five fundamental principles of ethics for professional accountants:

Integrity

To be straightforward and honest in all professional and business relationships

View subsection 110 on Integrity

Objectivity

Not to compromise professional or business judgments because of bias, conflict of interest or undue influence of others.

View subsection 112 on Objectivity

Professional competence and due care

To:

(i)    Attain and maintain professional knowledge and skill at the level required to ensure that a client or employing organisation receives competent professional service, based on current technical and professional standards and relevant legislation; and

(ii)   Act diligently and in accordance with applicable technical and professional standards.

View subsection 113 on Professional competence and due care

Confidentiality

To respect the confidentiality of information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships.

View subsection 114 on Confidentiality

Professional behaviour

To comply with relevant laws and regulations and avoid any conduct that the professional accountant knows or should know might discredit the profession.

View subsection 115 on Professional behaviour

R110.2         A professional accountant shall comply with each of the fundamental principles.

110.2 A1      The fundamental principles of ethics establish the standard of behaviour expected of a professional accountant. The conceptual framework establishes the approach which an accountant is required to apply to assist in complying with those fundamental principles. Subsections 111 to 115 set out requirements and application material related to each of the fundamental principles.

110.2 A2      A professional accountant might face a situation in which complying with one fundamental principle conflicts with complying with one or more other fundamental principles. In such a situation, the accountant might consider consulting, on an anonymous basis if necessary, with:

  • Others within the firm or employing organisation.
  • Those charged with governance.
  • A professional body.
  • A regulatory body.
  • Legal Counsel.

However, such consultation does not relieve the accountant from the responsibility to exercise professional judgment to resolve the conflict or, if necessary, and unless prohibited by law or regulation, disassociate from the matter creating the conflict.

110.2 A3      The professional accountant is encouraged to document the substance of the issue, the details of any discussions, the decisions made, and the rationale for those decisions.