This section introduces the CIMA Code of Ethics as well as past questions from the BA4 paper that highlights ethics. The Code provides guidance for you throughout your studies and your working life. The Code is global in approach and based on IFAC's Handbook of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants issued by the International Ethics Standards Board of Accountants (IESBA).
Being familiar with the Code and how you apply it is an integral part of both studying and working as a management accountant. Throughout the syllabus questions will arise on how you apply your understanding of the Code. Remember, sometimes ethical considerations may require behaviour above that required by the law.
See Part1 'Why ethics and accountants?' to refresh your knowledge on why Accountants have a Code.
The BA4 Exam
The BA4 exam covers the fundamentals of ethics, corporate governance and business law. 25% of the paper focuses on ethics and ethical conflict, but governance and law also have strong ethical considerations, particularly in relation to how you uphold the Code. If you have had exemptions from BA4 exam due to previous qualifications it is worth reviewing this section to familiarise yourself with the Code and ethical questions. BA4 additionally covers areas of corporate governance and the law which will also come up in higher level examinations, which you will separately need to consider.
BA4 | Contents of syllabus related to ethics
- Ethics and business
- Public interest; social responsibility; principles of Code and their importance; importance of law/regulations/standards; rules vs principles; lifelong learning.
- Ethical conflict
- Relationship between ethics/governance/law/social responsibility; aware of consequences of unethical behaviour to individual/profession/society; how to resolve dilemma and where it can occur.