Between Solid Lines: Making strong decisions amid ambiguity
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Between Solid Lines: Making strong decisions amid ambiguity

Feb 22, 2023 · 1 min read · AICPA Insights Blog

Not all ethical dilemmas in the world of accounting and finance have an answer within a code of ethics.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re on a call with a coworker, discussing a large infrastructure project your company is involved in. Your coworker, James, seems distracted and nervous, and you sense something is wrong. When you ask James about it, he pauses and says, “I need to tell you something off the record.”

You hesitantly agree, and James reveals that a client offered him money in return for favorable treatment. “He just asked me to move things along faster, ‘grease the wheels’ so to speak,” James says. "The cost of living these days is just so high. I'm struggling to pay my bills and support my family."

You suddenly recall a conversation last month when James told you he had to take out a high-interest loan to pay medical bills. You also know the stakes are high with this specific client and James could easily accept the bribe without it being detected.

What would you do?

Learn from your peers and through training

The ability to navigate situations in an ethical way is crucial when facing an ethical dilemma, and there are several resources available to help you along the way.

You can rely on the professional conduct training provided by AICPA & CIMA. The training will help you meet CPE/CPD requirements, bolster your past experiences, and assist you in making informed decisions when ethical predicaments arise.

As an added resource, AICPA & CIMA are introducing Between Solid Lines, an ethics thought leadership series. The first installment will be “How to build trust in the accounting and finance profession in a world where misconduct occurs.”

Join your peers each month as we explore a range of ethical dilemmas, discussing issues related to management accounting, technology, leadership, and not-for-profits.

These resources can come in handy in many circumstances because ethical dilemmas can crop up anywhere — in the accounting and finance profession, the industry you work in or deal with, or in everyday life.

Mari Sagedal, M.A.

Mari Sagedal is a senior content writer at AICPA & CIMA, together as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

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