R210.1 If an ethical conflict is encountered, a member should take steps to best achieve compliance with the rules, fundamental principles and law.
210.1 A1 An ethical conflict arises when a member encounters one or both of the following:
(a) Obstacles to following an appropriate course of action due to internal or external pressures
(b) Conflicts in applying relevant professional and legal standards
For example, a member suspects a fraud may have occurred, but reporting the suspected fraud would violate the member’s responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of their employer’s confidential information.
210.1 A2 In weighing alternative courses of action, a member might consider factors such as the following:
(a) Relevant facts and circumstances, including applicable rules, laws, or regulations.
(b) Ethical issues involved.
(c) Established internal procedures.
210.1 A3 A member should be prepared to justify any departures they believe are appropriate in applying the relevant rules, fundamental principles and law.
210.1 A4 If a member is unable to resolve the conflict in a way that permitted compliance with the applicable rules, fundamental principles and law, the member may have to address the consequences of any violations.
210.1 A5 Before pursuing a course of action, a member might consult with appropriate persons within the organisation that employs the member.
210.1 A6 If a member decides not to consult with appropriate persons within the employing organisation, and the conflict remains unresolved after pursuing the selected course of action, the member should consider either consulting with other individuals for help in reaching a resolution or obtaining advice from an appropriate professional body or legal counsel. The member also should consider documenting the substance of the issue, the parties with whom the issue was discussed, details of any discussions held, and any decisions made concerning the issue.
210.1 A7 If the ethical conflict remains unresolved, the member will in all likelihood be in violation of one or more rules or fundamental principles if they remain associated with the matter creating the conflict. Accordingly, the member should consider their continuing relationship with the specific assignment or employer.
Integrity and objectivity
R210.2 Integrity and Objectivity Rule (AICPA): In the performance of any professional service, a member shall maintain objectivity and integrity, shall be free of conflicts of interest, and shall not knowingly misrepresent facts or subordinate their judgment to others.
R210.3 Integrity Principle (CIMA): The fundamental principle of integrity imposes an obligation on all members to be straightforward and honest in all professional and business relationships.
Objectivity Principle (CIMA): The fundamental principle of objectivity imposes an obligation on all members not to compromise their professional or business judgment because of bias, conflict of interest or the undue influence of others.
R210.4 In the absence of an interpretation of the Integrity and Objectivity Rule (AICPA) and the Integrity and Objectivity Principles (CIMA) that addresses a particular relationship or circumstance, a member should apply the “Conceptual Framework for Members in Business” (200.3 – 200.4).
R210.5 A member will be considered in violation of the Integrity and Objectivity Rule and the Integrity and Objectivity Principles if the member cannot demonstrate that they identified, evaluated and addressed threats to compliance with the rules and fundamental principles.
210.5 A1 A member should consider the guidance in Paragraphs R210.1 and 210.1 A1 – 210.1 A7 when addressing ethical conflicts that might arise when the member encounters obstacles to following an appropriate course of action. Such obstacles may be due to internal or external pressures or to conflicts in applying relevant professional and legal standards, or both.