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This is part 6 of the topic Professional Body and Professionalism by CMA B V Prabhakar. He discusses on how accounting bodies IMA-USA, ICWAI-INDIA & ICSI-INDIA apply the above principles.

View CMA B V Prabhakar's LinkedIn profileView CMA B V Prabhakar’s profile

III. INSTITUTE OF COMPANY SECRETARIES OF INDIA (ICSI)

(www.icsi.edu)

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) is constituted under an Act of Parliament i.e. the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 (Act No. 56 of 1980) is the only recognized professional body in India to develop and regulate the profession of Company Secretary(CS) in India and the Institute of Company Secretaries of India(ICSI) rewards the certificate of bestowing the designation of Company Secretary(CS) to a candidate qualifying for the membership of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India(ICSI).

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India(ICSI) has on its rolls over 20,000 members including over 3,000 members holding certificate of the practice and has totally registered over Five Lakh Twenty Thousand students.

The affairs of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) are managed by a council consisting of fifteen elected members and five nominees of the Central Government.

Pursuant to section 383A of the Companies Act, 1956, companies having a paid -up share capital of Rs 2 crore or more, as prescribed by the Central Government, are statutorily required to appoint a whole-time Company Secretary (CS).

The major contribution of Company Secretary (CS) is in corporate sector. Company Secretary (CS) is an important professional aiding the efficient management of the corporate sector. Company Secretary (CS) is designated as an officer under the Companies Act. Company Secretary (CS) has to interact, coordinate, integrate and cooperate with various other functional heads in a company.

A member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India(ICSI) may also practice independently as a professional after obtaining a certificate of practice from the Institute of Company Secretaries of India(ICSI) as provided in Company Secretaries Act,1980.

Vision Statement

“To be global leader in development of professionals specialising in corporate governance”

Mission Statement

“To continuously develop high caliber professionals ensuring good corporate governance and effective management and carry out proactive research and development activities, for protection of interest of all stakeholders, thus contributing to public good”

RESEARCH & TRAINING

ICSI established CENTER FOR CORPORATE RESEARCH & TRAINING (CCRT) with the following objectives:

Objectives

* To develop professional capability and career prospects of the Company Secretaries and other corporate professionals.
* To serve as a center of Corporate Excellence for Corporate Governance and Business Ethics, Corporate Research and Corporate higher learning by harnessing all available resources, national and international.
* To promote original and contemporary applied research, higher learning and conduct training programs (residential and non-residential) in various streams of corporate sector through modern and advanced methodology.
* To enter into collaboration/arrangements with foreign institution in the field of research and training and to facilitate exchange of skills, knowledge and data base including faculty exchange programs with national and international bodies and other research institutions.
* To publish research papers, literature or publications including research bulletins, periodicals and consultative papers on any new legislation in areas of Corporate Laws, Finance and Capital Markets, etc to act as a Think Tank for Government, regulatory bodies and trade and industry on assignment basis.
* To act as In-House consultants to ICSI on Human Resources and relates areas.
* To provide professional consultancy of higher order employing contemporary methods and practices, and undertake corporate diagnostic studies, field surveys and data base services.

Infrastructure Facilities

ICSI-CCRT is equipped with state of art training and research relates facilities, a pleasant environ and world class physical infrastructure facilities and is ideally located.

The facilities include an auditorium equipped with pleasant décor, latest audio visual, acoustics, lighting and public address system, two well furnished computer rooms/labs, two conference halls each equipped with latest facilities such as TC, VCR Projector, Audio Visual Decks, Public Address System, classroom/lecture halls of variable sizes equipped with elegant furniture and other training related equipments. The centre accommodates indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, two well equipped dining halls and a roof garden-cum-cafeteria for the recreational convenience of the inmates.

The Residential Wing accommodates participants and guests and all facilities are comfortably air-conditioned with pleasant interiors providing conducive environment for learning and research.

A Library with computers, furnished with audio visuals and internet facility housing over 3000 books, current periodicals and reference literature is also in place.

CORPORATE TRAINING FACILITIES

A new activity has been added to CCRT’s training initiatives for the students through Residential Secretarial Modular Training Programme. During the year, 4 such programmes were organised at CCRT and the response to the programmes has been very good. Participants from all over India, mainly from non-metro centres took advantage of these programmes and got opportunity for interaction with expert professional faculty. In addition to the core subjects of a normal SMTP programme, the participants were exposed to topics on general management, human relations, financial markets, etc. at the pre-dinner sessions. They also had the benefit of yoga and meditation sessions in the morning from professional trainers.

RESEARCH INITIATIVES

Objectives

1. Fostering and nurturing research initiatives among members of the Company Secretaries profession and other researchers
2. Developing on an on-going basis information and insights into corporate/related laws, their delivery mechanism, need for harmonization/changes in light of emerging realities, corporate governance etc.
3. Using thus developed knowledge base for brand building and for purposes of interacting with the government, regulatory bodies and international agencies.

Illustrated list of Topics of Research

1. Central Listing Authority.
2. Functions & Role of Private Liquidator.
3. A comparative Analysis of The Companies Act, 1956 vis-a vis Corporate Laws in other countries.
4. Role, Functions and Responsibilities of Independent Directors.
5. WTO and IPRs : Possible Future Scenario.
6. Transformation of Co-operative Societies into Producer Companies.
7. Secretarial Audit.
8. Opening up of the Services Sector – Post WTO Scenario.
9. Capital Market Developments in the Next Five Years-A Road Map.
10. Harmonisation of Laws relating to Securities.
11. Corporate Governance – Need for Harmonisation of Companies Act with Listing Agreement.
12. Mergers & Amalgamation.
13. Buy Buck of Shares & its Impact.
14. Workers Participation in Management in the Context of Company Law.
15. Postal Ballot
16. Need for Changes/Simplification of Laws relating to Creation of Charges.
17. National Company Law Tribunal.
18. Arbitration and Conciliation Act & its Role in the Delivery of Justice in India.
19. Impact of Internet on Functioning of Companies -On Line Voting & Board Meeting Trough Video Conferencing.
20. Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets.
21. Business Process Outsourcing – Legal Aspects.
22. Employees Stock Option Schemes.
23. Revisiting the Companies Act.
24. Model Listing Agreement
25. Emerging Role of Company Secretaries in International Markets in a globalised environment

CORPORATE RESEARCH SERVICES

As a part of its ongoing activity in conducting sponsored studies on various topics, ICSI-CCRT completed the assignment from Indian Institute of Bankers (IIB) for preparation of study material on “Operations and Regulation of Capital Markets”. The study kit has been well appreciated.

ICSI-CCRT conducted a study on behalf of State Bank of India (SBI) on “Recovery Experiences in respect of Personal Segment Advances” covering 40 of their branches all over India. The report has been submitted to SBI.

Based on a proposal submitted to National Stock Exchange (NSE) under NSE’s Research Initiative, on “Corporate Social Responsibilities Initiatives by NSE NIFTY Companies – Content, Implementation Strategies & Impact”, a study has been undertaken by CCRT.

SECRETARIAL STANDARDS

Companies follow diverse secretarial practices and, therefore, there is a need to integrate, harmonise and standardize such practices so as to promote uniformity and consistency.

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India, acknowledging this need has started issuing Secretarial Standards on various topics. Compilation of Secretarial Standards by the corporate sector will lead to good corporate governance practices, making them comparable with best practices in the world.

So far, ICSI has issued the following Secretarial Standards:

SS-1: Meetings of the Board of Directors

SS-2: General Meetings

SS-3: Dividend

SS-4: Registers and Records

SS-5: Minutes

SS-6: Transmission of Shares and Debentures

SS-7: Passing Resolutions by Circulation

SS-8: Affixing of Common Seal

SS-9: Forfeiture of shares

GUIDANCE NOTES

In addition to SECRETARIAL STANDARS, ICSI also issues Guidance Notes on various topics of importance to help Members have a clarity and uniformity of understanding on the topics:

Guidance Note on Board’s Report

Guidance Note on Compliance Certificate

Guidance Note on Dividend

Guidance Note on Code of Conduct for CS

Guidance Note on Certification under Investor Education and Protection Fund

Guidance Note on Buy-Back of Securities

Guidance Note on Meeting of the Board of Directors

Guidance Note on Passing of Resolution by Postal Ballot

Guidance Note on General Meetings

Guidance Note on Signing of Annual Return

Guidance Note on Corporate Governance Certificate

Guidance Note on Preferential Issue of Shares

PUBLICATIONS

ICSI publications aims at providing framework of best practices, processes and systems of selected topics :

Corporate Governance Modules of Best Practices

Prohibition of Insider Trading Law & Procedure

Practitioner’s Guide to Consumer Protection Law

Referencer on Limited Liability Partnership Bill, 2006

Referencer on MCA21 (including e-forms) with free CD

Handbook on Mergers, Amalgamations & Takeovers Law and Practice

Securities Management and Compliances

Segment wise Role of Company Secretaries

Company Meetings , a Compendium

WTO, International Trade, Joint Ventures and Foreign Collaborators

Are you a Company Director

Doing Business in Thailand

Handbook on Internal Audit of Operations of Depository Participants

Monograph on Position, Duties & liabilities of Directors

Listing Agreement, a Compendium

Delisting Of Securities

Handbook On Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution

CHARTERED SECRETARY

“Chartered Secretary” is a leading Corporate journal with articles of high quality on the latest developments in Corporate Laws & General Management. All important and emerging topics are covered – Company Law, Competition Law, Industrial & Labor laws, WTO, Intellectual Property Rights, Corporate Governance, Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities Management, Joint Ventures, Foreign Collaborations, etc.

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This is part 5 of the topic Professional Body and Professionalism by CMA B V Prabhakar. He discusses on how accounting bodies IMA-USA, ICWAI-INDIA & ICSI-INDIA apply the above principles.

View CMA B V Prabhakar's LinkedIn profileView CMA B V Prabhakar’s profile

STATEMENTS ON STANDARD AUDITING PRACTICES

The Cost Accounting Standards, Statements on Standard Auditing Practices and Guidance Notes establish standards which have to be complied with to ensure that costing statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted Cost accounting standards and that auditors carry out their audits in accordance with the generally accepted auditing practices.

They become mandatory on the dates specified in the respective document or notified by the Council.

Cost Accounting Standards (CAS)

Cost Accounting Standards are formulated by the Cost Accounting Standards Board and issued by the Council of the Institute.

The Cost Accounting Standards are issued for use in the presentation of Cost statements. They become mandatory on the dates specified in the respective Accounting Standards or notified by the Council in this behalf.

Every Cost Statement shall comply with the cost accounting standards.
Where the Cost Statements of the company do not comply with the Cost Accounting standards, such companies shall disclose the deviation from the standards, the reasons for such deviation; and the effect, if any, arising due to such deviation.

ICWAI issued the following CAS so far:

CAS 1 : “CLASSIFICATION OF COST”
CAS 2 : “CAPACITY DETERMINATION”
CAS 3 : “OVERHEADS”
CAS 4 : “COST OF PRODUCTION FOR CAPTIVE CONSUMPTION”
CAS 5 : “COST OF TRANSPORTATION”
CAS 6: “ DETERMINATION OF ARM’S LENGTH PRICE
CAS 7 : “MATERIAL COST”

GUIDANCE NOTES

‘Guidance Notes’ are primarily designed to provide guidance to members on matters which may arise in the course of their professional work and on which they may desire assistance in resolving issues which may pose difficulty.

Guidance Notes are recommendatory in nature. A member should ordinarily follow recommendations in a guidance note .

“If the same have not been followed, the member should consider whether keeping in view the circumstances of the case, a disclosure in his report is necessary”

ICWAI has recently issued two guidance notes:

GUIDANCE NOTE ON INTERNAL AUDIT

The Guidance Note on Internal Audit describes it as an independent and objective oriented assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organisation’s operations. It helps an organisation accomplish its objectives by bringing in the systematic and disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the operations of an organisation in totality.”

GUIDANCE NOTE ON COST OF PRODUCTION FOR CAPTIVE CONSUMPTION

The Guidance Note on Cost of Production for Captive Consumption addresses the need of the Cost Practitioners in the field to have an authoritative guidance on various aspects involved in the valuation process and takes into consideration the methodology prescribed by the Cost Accounting Standard-4 issued by the Institute earlier.

Self regulation guidelines

Self Regulation Guidelines/directions are given in the context of use of designation etc. and manner of printing letter-heads and visiting cards, of the President, Vice-President of the Institute, Members of the Council, Chairmen of various Non-­Standing Committees of the Institute; Chairmen, other office ­bearers and Members of the Regional Councils; Chairmen, other office bearers and Members of the Managing Committees of Chapters

A.QUALITY REVIEW BOARD

CWA Act provides for establishment of Quality Review Board to perform the following functions:

a) to make recommendations to the Council with regard to the quality of services provided by the members of the Institute
b) to review the quality of services provided by the members of the Institute including cost audit services; and
c) to guide the members of the Institute to improve the quality of services and adherence to the various statutory and other regulatory requirements

B.CONTINUOUS EDUCATION REQUIREMENT

To meet the requirement of professional skills in the current changing dynamic economic scenario, Cost Accountants in practice and service (members of our Institute) should equip themselves with the new skills and concepts to meet the challenges and render yeomen’s services to trade, commerce and industry. Therefore, ICWAI prescribes mandatory training to the members in practice and service under Continuing Education Programme as under:

For Members in Practice

(i) The member should undergo minimum mandatory training for 20 hrs. in a period of 3 years.
(ii) The minimum hours of training in a year is 6 hrs.
(iii) The certificate of attendance for training have to be enclosed with the application for renewal of Certificate of Practice.

For Members in Service

(i) The member should undergo minimum mandatory training for 12 hrs. in a period of 3 years.
(ii) The minimum hours of training in a year is 4 hrs.
(iii) The certificate of attendance for training have to be enclosed with the application for renewal of membership.

The attendance of members in National Cost Convention, Regional Cost Convention, Seminars/Workshops conducted by the Institute/Regional Councils/Chapters (both paid/unpaid programme) will be reckoned against the requirement of mandatory training period under this scheme.

The requirement specified above will not apply to a member who has attained the age of 65 years.

SEMINARS, MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS, REGIONAL & NATIONAL CONVENTIONS

ICWAI regularly conducts seminars, MDP, PDP, Regional & National conventions to enable Members participate in the same and update their knowledge in the areas of Cost Management, Performance Management, Management Accounting concepts like Lean, ABC, JIT etc., Direct & Indirect Taxation, Accounting Standards, Management Audit and Financial Management.

A.PUBLICATIONS

The Management Accountant Journal

The Management Accountant is one of the most valued professional journals in India on Cost and Management Accounting, Cost management, Economics, Finance, Management, Corporate Laws and other relevant subjects. It is the official organ of ICWAI.

The Journal has an active circulation of around 25,000 copies per month circulating among the students and members of the Institute – most of them holding key positions in corporate and government sectors, education, consultancy, trade and services etc. Besides, it circulates among various other subscribers in India and abroad – most of them are institutional subscribers consisting of leading corporate houses, Universities and Institutes, professional and regulatory bodies in India and abroad.

The journal has been acclaimed widely not only in India but abroad also and many of its articles, features and editorials are extensively quoted in the national and international media. Two articles published in 1996-97 have also ranked among the best 10 articles on Management Accounting published in the world by International Federation Of Accountants.
Industry-Wise Publications

ICWAI has published Cost Accounting Record Rules And Cost Audit (Report) Rules for more than 30 industries – such as – Cycle, Cement, Automobile Battery, Tyre & Tube, Tractor, Aluminium, Vanaspati, Sugar, Paper, Fertilizer, Milk Food, etc.

B.RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS

ICWAI has brought out the following Research publications:

– Financing Asset Replacement
– Inflation Accounting As A Tool to Fight Inflation
– Management Accounting Problems in Small Scale Industries
– Inflation Accounting Tools and Techniques
– Glossary Of Management Accounting Terms
– Corporate Capital Structure and Cost Of Capital
– Cost and Quality Control
– Management Information Reports for Operating Managers
– Cost Accounting in Commercial Banking Industry
– Farm Management Accounting And control
– Management Accountant and The Computer
– An Introduction to Cost Accounting in Commercial Banking Industry
– Management And Accounting for Research and Development – The Indian Praxis
– Research Bulletin ( Biannual each issue )
– Guidelines On Management Accounting: Capacity Determination
– Profit Planning
– Mutual Funds In India
– Human Resources Accounting

C. MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING GUIDELINES

ICWAI has so far brought out four Management Accounting Guidelines to provide guidance to its Members, Industries and Regulatory bodies in the area of Management Accounting.

MAG-I
IMPLEMENTING BENCHMARKING

MAG – II
VALUATIONS MANAGEMENT – A TOOL OF MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANT

MAG – III
IMPLEMENTING CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGIES

MAG-IV
TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING FOR BUSINESS

D.RESEARCH CENTRES

ICWAI has taken initiative to set up Research & Training Centres by laying the foundation stone for the Hyderabad Centre of Excellence, which will be the first in a series of such centres to be set up by ICWAI for research and training in the country.

It will be the state-of-the-art facility spread across 2,000 square metres with five floors which would primarily focus on research activities in services sector.

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This is part 4 of the topic Professional Body and Professionalism by CMA B V Prabhakar. He discusses on how accounting bodies IMA-USA, ICWAI-INDIA & ICSI-INDIA apply the above principles.

View CMA B V Prabhakar's LinkedIn profileView CMA B V Prabhakar’s profile

II. INSTITUTE OF COST & WORKS ACCOUNTANTS OF INDIA (ICWAI)

(www.icwai.org)

ICWAI is a premier statutory accounting body established by an Act of Indian Parliament, namely, Cost & Works Accountants Act, 1959 (CWA Act) to impart and develop cost & management accountancy profession in India. It operates under jurisdiction of Ministry of Corporate Affairs of Central (Federal) Government of India. It has chapters all over India and also in Middle East.

Vision Statement

“ICWAI would be the preferred source of resources and professionals for the financial leadership of enterprises globally “

Mission Statement

“ICWAI professionals would ethically drive enterprises globally by creating value to stakeholders in the socio-economic context through competencies drawn from the integration of strategy, management and accounting.”

COST ACCOUNTING RULES & STATUTORY COST AUDIT

One of the salient features of the Indian Companies Act is the provision for mandatory requirement of maintenance of Cost accounting records for certain industries and ordering of cost audit by Central Government for certain companies covered by such provision.

Section 209(1) (d) of the Companies Act, 1956 prescribes mandatory maintenance of cost accounting records for certain class of manufacturing industries .

Section 233B of the Act empowers Central Government to order Cost Audit for the Companies required to maintain cost accounting records by a notification. Such audits are conducted by Members of ICWAI in practice.

A. ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT:

According to ICWAI Guidelines, as professionals in the field of Cost and Management Accounting, the members of the Institute are bound by a code of professional ethics. This code stipulates and binds them to the highest level of care, duty and responsibility to their employers and clients, the public and their fellow professionals.

Cost accountants have to observe fundamental principles, which are:

(a) Integrity

A cost accountant should be straightforward and honest in performing his services.

(b) Objectivity

A cost accountant should be fair and should not allow prejudice or bias or the influence of others to override objectivity.

(c) Competence

A cost accountant must refrain from performing any service which he is not competent to carry out unless proper advice and assistance is obtained to ensure that the service is performed to the satisfaction.

(d) Confidentiality

A cost accountant must not disclose information acquired during the course of his engagement and should not use or disclose any such information without proper and specific authority or unless there is a legal or professional right or duty to disclose.

(e) Professional Behaviour

A cost accountant should act in a manner consistent with the good reputation of the profession.

THE CWA ACT, 1959

ICWAI, being a statutory body is regulated by the CWA Act and for the management of the affairs and for discharging the functions assigned to it by the Cost and Works Accountants Act, there is a Council of the Institute.

Every member of the Institute is entitled to designate himself as a Cost Accountant.

There are two classes of members,

a)those who are in practice and
b)those who are otherwise occupied.

The practising members conduct statutory cost audits, excise audits and certifications. Conducting of such statutory audits and certifications require high degree of competence and proper professional conduct.

The Council has been empowered to institute any enquiry into cases where it is prima facie of the opinion that a member is guilty of professional or other misconduct.

Professional misconduct defined

Section 22 of the Act read with the Schedules to the Act , contains an illustrative, though not exhaustive definition of “Professional misconduct”. These constitute the Code of professional conduct applicable to Cost Accountants.

Professional Misconduct falls under the following categories:

FIRST SCHEDULE:

Part I : Professional misconduct in relation to Cost Accountants in Practice
Part II : Professional misconduct in relation to Members of the Institute in service
Part III: Professional misconduct in relation to Members of the Institute in generally
Part IV: Other misconduct in relation to Members of the Institute generally

SECOND SCHEDULE:

Part I : Professional misconduct in relation to Cost Accountants in Practice
Part II : Professional misconduct in relation to Members of the Institute in service
Part III: Other misconduct in relation to Members of the Institute generally

“Other Misconduct”

A member is liable to disciplinary action under the CWA Act, if he is found guilty of any professional or “other misconduct”.

“Other misconduct” as listed in Part III to the Second Schedule has not been defined in the Act but this provision empowers the Council to enquire into any misconduct of a member even if it does not arise out of its professional work. This is considered necessary because a Cost Accountant is expected to maintain the highest standards of integrity even in his personal affairs and any deviation from these standards, even in his non-professional work, would expose him to disciplinary action.

For example, a member who is found to have forged the will of a relative, would be liable to disciplinary action even though the forgery may not have been done in the course of his professional duty.

“Other misconduct” would also relate to conviction by a competent court for an offence involving moral turpitude punishable with transportation or imprisonment or to an offence not of a technical nature committed by the member in his professional capacity.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT

ICWAI has a three-tier mechanism to deal with Professional misconduct of its members – Disciplinary Directorate, Board of Discipline & Disciplinary Committee.

Disciplinary Directorate makes investigations in respect of any information or complaint received by it.

1)If the member is guilty of any professional or other misconduct mentioned in the First Schedule, Disciplinary Directorate places the matter before the Board of Discipline.

2)If the members is guilty of any professional or other misconduct mentioned in the Second Schedule or in both the Schedules, Disciplinary Directorate places the matter before the Disciplinary Committee.

The Board of Discipline and Disciplinary Committee on referral by Disciplinary Directorate, after affording the member an opportunity of being heard make an order and take any one or more of the following actions:

a)reprimand the member
b)remove the name of the member from the Register
c)impose fine

For the purpose of an inquiry under the provisions of CWA Act, the Disciplinary Directorate, Board of Discipline & Disciplinary Committee have the same powers as are vested in a civil court.

To be continued….

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This is part 3 of the topic Professional Body and Professionalism by CMA B V Prabhakar. He discusses on how accounting bodies IMA-USA, ICWAI-INDIA & ICSI-INDIA apply the above principles.

View CMA B V Prabhakar's LinkedIn profileView CMA B V Prabhakar’s profile

PROFESSIONAL LEARNING CENTER

IMA has an online Professional Learning Center with access to Programs designed for Continuing education courses for Certified Management Accountants (CMAs) and professional development programs designed to help management accountants and finance professionals build their careers.

All IMA professional development programs relate to one or more of the five core competencies of management accounting:

WEBINARS

Webinars are designed to actively engage members in the latest trends and thinking in the profession without having to leave the office or home. IMA conducts webinars session at least a month on latest topics conducted by experts in the field.

CONVENTIONS

IMA regularly conducts seminars, get-togethers, and conventions, with educational sessions, speakers, workshops and valuable networking opportunities to build members skills and capabilities to become a valuable, strategic business partner, and a champion to their company’s bottom line.

C. RESEARCH SUPPORT

i) Foundation for Applied Research

The IMA Foundation for Applied Research, Inc. (FAR) was formed to ensure sufficient resources, both human and financial, to sustain and augment IMA’s role as a valued center of research on the most important practice issues of the day while also identifying financial management trends to meet the challenges of the next millennium.

The Trustees who oversee FAR’s research activities represent management accountants and financial professionals from Corporate America to academe. Collectively, they have established research priorities to address the following questions:

  1. How can management accounting and finance best contribute to improving competitiveness and achieving continuous improvement in the enterprise?
  2. How does management accounting affect management behavior?
  3. What are important emerging cost management and performance measurement techniques and issues?
  4. How is globalization affecting management accounting and finance?
  5. How is emerging technology being used to improve the effectiveness of management accounting?
FAR’s Mission

FAR’s mission is to develop and disseminate timely management accounting and financial management research findings that can be applied to current and emerging business issues.

Research Process

Topics are identified with input from FAR’s constituency base. A call for research is issued to the research community. FAR trustees select the research team and establish a project committee of subject matter experts to work with the researchers in developing FAR’s research. Representatives of FAR maintain relationships with various standard-setting and regulatory bodies as well as other professional accounting organizations to monitor and influence proposals and participate in cooperative studies. Findings are presented at conferences and seminars and are published as monographs or books.

IMA’s Foundation for Applied Research goal is to create discussion papers, Statements on Management Accounting and practitioner-oriented articles based on complete research for publication in Strategic Finance magazine and/or Management Accounting Quarterly.

ii) The IMA Research Center of Excellence

The IMA Research Center of Excellence (COE) is focused on delivering research, best practices, and tools for practitioners in accounting and finance who are involved in decision support, planning, budgeting, forecasting, risk management, and internal control over financial reporting.

In addition to the Foundation for Applied Research (FAR), the CoE is composed of five research practices:

  • Leadership Strategies and Ethics
  • Technology Enablement
  • Strategic Cost Management
  • Business Performance Management
  • Finance Governance, Risk, and Compliance
The COE is dedicated to advancing the management accounting and finance profession and the careers of practitioners, enabling them to build sustainable value within their operations.

iii) Ventana Research Studies

IMA has signed a cross-marketing and research agreement with Ventana Research, a research and advisory services firm focused on performance management and the integration of finance and IT. Under the agreement, IMA members will have access to Ventana Research syndicated research reports, publications and research analysts. IMA members can participate in research studies and receive the results of those studies on topics like performance management and technology.

iv) Research Library

The McLeod information Center covers the fields of Management Accounting and Financial Management.

Custom Bibliographies

If Members need information on a specific topic, a tailor-made reading list can be prepared , based upon key concepts provided by E-mail, Regular mail, or Fax.

Full-text Articles

Copies of articles published in IMA or non-IMA periodicals can be sent to the members by E-mail, Regular mail, or Fax on request.

Internet Research

Should members need research services, the Center can scout Internet databases for journal & news articles, case studies, and other research of the Business and Management resources, producing up-to-date, austive bibliographies, as well as full-text-article sets, to meet the member’s specifications.

D. PUBLICATIONS

i) Strategic Finance is the flagship publication of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA®). An award-winning monthly magazine, it provides the latest information about practices and trends in finance, accounting, and information management that will impact members (mostly controllers, CFOs, and their staffs) and their jobs. The thought-provoking articles offer advice that will help financial professionals perform their jobs more effectively, advance their careers, grow personally and professionally, and make their organizations more profitable.

ii) Management Accounting Quarterly is a quarterly, refereed online journal that contains in-depth articles by and for academics and practitioners of corporate (management) accounting and financial management.

Some of the subjects covered are cost/management accounting techniques, ABC/ABM, RCA, GPK, statistical process controls, target costing, theory of constraints, methods of calculating stock options, techniques to improve accounting and finance education, new theories in finance and accounting, and much more.

iii) Statements on Management Accounting (SMAs) present the views of IMA regarding management accounting and financial management issues. In their development, the Statements are subjected to a rigorous exposure process.

SMAs are classified based on the following IMA research practice areas:

  • Leadership Strategies and Ethics
  • Technology Enablement
  • Strategic Cost Management
  • Business Performance Management
  • Finance Governance, Risk, and Compliance (FGRC)
  • Practice of Management Accounting
iv) IMA Educational Case Journal (IECJ®),

IMA® launched the IMA Educational Case Journal (IECJ®), a quarterly, on-line journal. The mission of the Journal is to publish teaching cases and research related to case writing or teaching with cases in management accounting and related fields.

The journal accepts cases covering a wide range of topics, reflecting the diverse skill set required of management accountants today. International submissions are welcome and encouraged. The IECJ is listed in the Cabell’s Directory of Publishing Opportunities.

Continued… Part 4

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  1. Profession v/s Professionalism – 2
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This is part 2 of the topic Professional Body and Professionalism by CMA B V Prabhakar. He discusses on how accounting bodies IMA-USA, ICWAI-INDIA & ICSI-INDIA apply the above principles.

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Efforts of different professional bodies to promote professionalism.

Let us now see the case of three Professional Bodies, IMA-USA, ICWAI-INDIA & ICSI-INDIA, and compile how these Professional Accounting Bodies ensure, build and promote Professionalism among its members.

I. INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANTS , USA (www.imanet.org)

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA®) is the world’s leading organization dedicated to empowering management accounting and finance professionals to drive business performance.

With a network of about 60,000 professionals, IMA provides a dynamic forum for management accounting and financial professionals to develop and advance their careers through its Certified Management Accountant (CMA®) program, cutting-edge professional research and practice development, education, networking, and the advocacy of the highest ethical and professional practices.

Vision Statement

The world’s leading association for management accounting and finance professionals.

Mission Statement

To provide a dynamic forum for management accounting and finance professionals to develop and advance their careers through certification, research and practice development, education, networking, and the advocacy of the highest ethical and professional practices.

A. Statement of Ethical Professional Practice as issued by IMA:

Members of IMA shall behave ethically. A commitment to ethical professional practice includes overarching principles that express our values, and standards that guide our conduct.

PRINCIPLES

IMA’s overarching ethical principles include: Honesty, Fairness, Objectivity, and Responsibility.

Members shall act in accordance with these principles and shall encourage others within their organizations to adhere to them.

STANDARDS

A member’s failure to comply with the following standards may result in disciplinary action.

I. COMPETENCE

Each member has a responsibility to:

  1. Maintain an appropriate level of professional expertise by continually developing knowledge and skills.
  2. Perform professional duties in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and technical standards.
  3. Provide decision support information and recommendations that are accurate, clear, concise, and timely.
  4. Recognize and communicate professional limitations or other constraints that would preclude responsible judgement or successful performance of an activity.
II. CONFIDENTIALITY

Each member has a responsibility to:

  1. Keep information confidential except when disclosure is authorized or legally required.
  2. Inform all relevant parties regarding appropriate use of confidential information. Monitor subordinates’ activities to ensure compliance.
  3. Refrain from using confidential information for unethical or illegal advantage.
III. INTEGRITY

Each member has a responsibility to:

  1. Mitigate actual conflicts of interest, regularly communicate with business associates to avoid apparent conflicts of interest. Advise all parties of any potential conflicts.
  2. Refrain from engaging in any conduct that would prejudice carrying out duties ethically.
  3. Abstain from engaging in or supporting any activity that might discredit the profession.
IV. CREDIBILITY

Each member has a responsibility to:

  1. Communicate information fairly and objectively.
  2. Disclose all relevant information that could reasonably be expected to influence an intended user’s understanding of the reports, analyses, or recommendations.
  3. Disclose delays or deficiencies in information, timeliness, processing, or internal controls in conformance with organization policy and/or applicable law.
RESOLUTION OF ETHICAL CONFLICT

In applying the Standards of Ethical Professional Practice, members may encounter problems identifying unethical behaviour or resolving an ethical conflict.

When faced with ethical issues, members should follow their organization’s established policies on the resolution of such conflict.

If these policies do not resolve the ethical conflict, then members should consider the following courses of action:

  1. Discuss the issue with the immediate supervisor except when it appears that the supervisor is involved. In that case, present the issue to the next level. If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, submit the issue to the next management level. If the 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 the superior’s knowledge, assuming he or she is not involved.
  2. Clarify relevant ethical issues by initiating a confidential discussion with an IMA Ethics Counsellor or other impartial advisor to obtain a better understanding of possible courses of action.
  3. Consult own attorney as to legal obligations and rights concerning the ethical conflict.
Mission of the Ethics Program

Encourage organizations and individuals to adopt, promote and execute business practices consistent with high ethical standards, by providing valuable insight into the complexities that result from social and technological change.

The following definition of ethics is provided as a foundation for IMA members.

“Ethics in its broader sense, deals with human conduct in relation to what is morally good and bad, right and wrong. It is the application of values to decision making. These values include honesty, fairness, responsibility, respect and compassion.” – Rushworth Kidder, President, Institute for Global Ethics

As already explained above, IMA offers an ethics helpline service. Members of IMA as well as other financial professionals may contact this helpline for free, confidential guidance on ethical issues.

The purpose of the helpline is to provide guidance to those in the profession that find themselves in an ethical dilemma.

After a preliminary discussion of the problem to determine the kind of ethics matter being reported, an ethics counsellor will respond to the caller. Confidentiality is maintained at all times. The counsellor will not provide a specific resolution but will explain how the dilemma relates to the provisions of IMA’s Statement of Ethical Professional Practice.

B. CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

CMAs are required to maintain their proficiency in the fields of management accounting and financial management. This includes knowledge of new concepts and techniques as well as their application in the management accounting and financial management professions. The objective is to maintain the professional competence of the individual and to enhance one’s ability to perform job-related requirements. The continuing education requirement is 30 hours per year.

A broad range of subjects may be included in the programs for which hours of credit will be given

– all aspects of accounting, financial management, business applications of mathematics and statistics, computer science, economics, management, production, marketing, business law, and organizational behaviour.

All CMAs are required to complete a minimum 2 hours of continuing education on the subject of ethics as part of their 30-hour annual CPE requirement.

IMA’s Statement of Ethical Professional Practice as depicted above, is an excellent framework for determining the types of ethical topics that are acceptable. The focus of the ethics education should be principally in the area of management accounting and financial management.

Topics should include ethical considerations in the area of decision support, planning and control for accounting and finance professionals working inside organizations. Members are encouraged to address specific scenarios such as fraud in financial reporting, manipulation of budgets for personal gain, disclosure of confidential financial information and coverage of ethics within general business environment.

To be continued…. Part 3

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You may also like to read

  1. Profession v/s Professionalism – 1
  2. Lowballing
  3. Membership of an Accounting Body – Value Proposition
Profession, Professional, Professional Body & Professionalism is a guest post by CMA B V Prabhakar. He will discuss on how accounting bodies IMA-USA, ICWAI-INDIA & ICSI-INDIA apply the above principles.

View CMA B V Prabhakar's LinkedIn profileView CMA B V Prabhakar’s profile

PROFESSION & PROFESSIONAL

Profession has different meanings – employment or trade that everyone has and exercises in public. The professions are occupations that require specialized knowledge, educational training, high-level control over the content of work, organization, self, altruism, the spirit of community service and high ethical standards.

Thus, Profession is a specialized activity of labour in a society, and the person who performs it is called : professional.

The essentials of a Professional are:

  • gains the expertise through training/certification more often through college or graduate degree such as psychology, law, medicine, nursing, architecture, accounting or engineering
  • who provides a service ensuring the result with a specified quality consistently
  • maintains high ethical standards

PROFESSIONALISM & PROFESSIONAL BODY

Professional Body

A professional body is a group of people in a learned occupation who are entrusted with maintaining control or oversight of the legitimate practice of the occupation.

Professional bodies play the following roles:

  1. They impart the necessary training and professional certification to indicate a person possesses qualifications in the subject area and often membership in a professional body is synonymous with certification.
  2. They act as a learned society contributing to continuous professional development so that they update their knowledge with latest techniques to ensure they deliver a service with a specified quality consistently.
  3. They are set up to safeguard the public interest. This is what gives them their legitimacy.
  4. Professional bodies enforce standards of ethics in their profession and have disciplinary mechanism to correct any deviations from the acceptable behaviour or conduct
  5. They act as a professional association (including legitimating restrictive practices) and represent the interest of their members
  6. They provide network opportunities among its members to share their knowledge and experiences for further uplifting of the profession. This could be through conducting regular seminars, professional development programs, and conventions.
  7. They conduct research in the area of their specialisation and help members in conducting the research activities
  8. They make publications in the areas of their specialisation such as Journals, Case studies, and articles.

In other words, Professional body strive to embody and enforce professionalism among its members.

PROFESSIONALISM

Professionalism means just not possessing skills and competence to perform the professional duties but also meticulous adherence to undeviating courtesy, honesty, integrity, objectivity and responsibility in one’s dealings with clients/customers and associates, plus a level of excellence that goes over and above the commercial considerations and legal requirements.

This series will explore how different bodies continue to promote professionalism. Part 2

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Do markets have a DNA

I was reading the news article “Former banking bosses say ‘sorry’ ” on the BBC website.

On being pushed by the Treasury committee, Lord Stevenson, former chairman of HBOS, said the mistake the bank made was a failure to predict the credit crunch, which effectively froze access to new funds.

“The fundamental mistake of HBOS was the failure to predict the wholesale collapse of the wholesale markets,” he said.

Till now I have been reading of credit crunch and recession in the economy.

Where’s the money gone ?

I can relate the credit crunch chain of events to the Oyster Card system in London Underground when it fails due to a technical problem. It results in total chaos . There is no ticket checks since the system has failed and the gates where the card reader is installed kept open. Then there is no difference between passengers with tickets or without tickets and everyone takes a free ride.

I occasionally watch Jeremy Kylie show or Maury Show. The have gradually moved from lie detector to a DNA test to determine the truth. Today DNA test is a precise way to determine the paternity, solve crime and also trace the roots of the family.

What about the markets ? Is there no way trace the money where it has disappeared !!!

Mr Hornby conceded to the the Treasury Committee that the culture, where bankers can receive many times their salary in cash bonuses, did need to be looked at.

“The bonus system has proved to be wrong. Substantial cash bonuses do not reward the right kind of behaviour,” he said.

What has happened to the Corporate Governance Standard where there the remuneration committee decides on the pay of executive directors ? Who pays the price for the excessive risk that the executives take for the bank ?

The most appalling case is that of Satyam Computers where the Auditors (Big 4 firm) failed to notice the Cash balances on the Balance Sheet of Satyam does not exist in the bank accounts.

In all the cases, these are best of banks or auditors !!!

The questions I would like to ask:

  • Is the current laws and regulators geared to determine the source of the problem ?
  • Do we require techniques and technology for the market as sophisticated as DNA Tests.
Please share your thoughts on the subject and whether you are affected by the credit crunch.

Regards,

Santosh Puthran

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