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Our Code of Ethics

Steve Colton, founder and principal of Accounting Insights, holds the Certified Management Accountant designation from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). As a member of the IMA, Steve and the entire firm are bound by the IMA's Code of Ethics. Excerpts of these ethical standards are presented on this page.

While Steve is not a member of the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC-USA), Accounting Insights is a management consulting firm and Steve has adopted the Code of Ethics promulgated by the IMC-USA as a second set of guiding principles for himself and his associates. Excerpts of these ethical standards are also presented here.

For more information about these organizations, visit their web sites.
  •  Institute of Management Accountants
  •  Institute of Management Consultants USA

n. A system of moral principles, rules and standards of conduct.

n. Confidence in and reliance on good qualities, especially fairness, truth, honor, or ability

The Institute of Management Accountants

Management Accountants
Members of IMA have an obligation to the public, their profession, the organizations they serve, and themselves, to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct. In recognition of this obligation, the IMA has promulgated the following standards of ethical conduct for its members. Members shall not commit acts contrary to these standards nor shall they condone the commission of such acts by others within their organizations.

The IMA's Standards of Ethical Conduct are published in SMA 1C (Statement on Management Accounting).


  • Members have a responsibility to:
  • Maintain an appropriate level of professional competence by ongoing development of their knowledge and skills.
  • Perform their professional duties in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and technical standards.
  • Prepare complete and clear reports and recommendations after appropriate analyses of relevant and reliable information.


  • Members have a responsibility to:
  • Refrain from disclosing confidential information acquired in the course of their work except when authorized, unless legally obligated to do so.
  • Inform subordinates as appropriate regarding the confidentiality of information acquired in the course of their work and monitor their activities to assure the maintenance of that confidentiality.
  • Refrain from using or appearing to use confidential information acquired in the course of their work for unethical or illegal advantage either personally or through third parties.


  • Members have a responsibility to:
  • Avoid actual or apparent conflicts of interest and advise all appropriate parties of any potential conflict.
  • Refrain from engaging in any activity that would prejudice their ability to carry out their duties ethically.
  • Refuse any gift, favor, or hospitality that would influence or would appear to influence their actions.
  • Refrain from either actively or passively subverting the attainment of the organization's legitimate and ethical objectives.
  • Recognize and communicate professional limitations or other constraints that would preclude responsible judgment or successful performance of an activity.
  • Communicate unfavorable as well as favorable information and professional judgments or opinions.
  • Refrain from engaging in or supporting any activity that would discredit the profession.


  • Members have a responsibility to:
  • Communicate information fairly and objectively.
  • Disclose fully all-relevant information that could reasonably be expected to influence an intended user's understanding of the reports, comments, and recommendations presented. Top 

Management Consultants
All IMC-USA members pledge in writing to abide by the Institute's Code of Ethics. Their adherence to the Code signifies voluntary assumption of self-discipline. The Code specifies:


  • Members will serve their clients with integrity, competence, and objectivity, using a professional approach at all times, and placing the best interests of the client above all others.
  • Members will establish realistic expectations of the benefits and results of their services.
  • Members will treat all client information that is not public knowledge as confidential, will prevent it from access by unauthorized people, and will not take advantage of proprietary or privileged information, either for use by them, their firm or another client, without the client's permission.
  • Members will avoid conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such, and will disclose to a client any circumstances or interests that might influence their judgment and objectivity.
  • Members will refrain from inviting an employee of an current or previous client to consider alternative employment without prior discussion with the client.


  • Members will only accept assignments which they possess the expertise to perform, and will only assign staff with the requisite expertise.
  • Members will ensure that before accepting any engagement a mutual understanding of the objectives, scope, work plan, and fee arrangements has been established.
  • Members will offer to withdraw from a consulting engagement when their objectivity or integrity may be impaired.


  • Members will agree in advance with a client on the basis for fees and expenses, and will charge fees and expenses that are reasonable, legitimate and commensurate with the services delivered and the responsibility accepted.
  • Members will disclose to their clients in advance any fees or commissions that they receive for equipment, supplies or services they could recommend to their clients.


  • Members will respect the individual and corporate rights of clients and consulting colleagues, and will not use proprietary information or methodologies without permission.
  • Members will represent the profession with integrity and professionalism in their relations with their clients, colleagues and the general public.
  • Members will report violations of this Code to the Institute, and will ensure that other consultants working on behalf of the member abide by this Code.

The Institute of Management Consultants USA, Inc. (IMC-USA) adopted its first Code of Ethics in 1968. Since that time IMC-USA has modified the wording of the Code for additional clarity and relevance to clients. The current Code was approved February 22, 2002. Top 

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