• Register
Return to: Home > News > Regulation > Boards should set the right ‘tone at the top’: CIMA

Boards should set the right ‘tone at the top’: CIMA

Boards have a crucial role to play in setting the right 'tone at the top' if companies want to achieve long term sustainable success, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) regional director Europe David Rowsby has said.

Speaking at the annual parliamentary reception of Tomorrow's Company, a think tank that studies good corporate governance, Rowsby said yesterday that boards should set the right ethical culture to make companies a real "force for good".

"We believe business can and should create value by aligning economic imperatives with social and environmental drivers. This triple context frames the operating environment for companies where business success and sustainability are mutually reinforcing," Rowsby said.

CIMA is engaged in a number of activities with Tomorrow's Company, including the think tank's good governance forum, which explores what good governance means and makes practical recommendations to company boards and policy makers on the subject.

"This year the forum is focusing on boards and risk. A key risk is an inadequate ethos and culture. Boards need to understand not just the hard risks, such as IT failures, but also how the wrong culture can spell trouble for a company," Rowsby said.

Building on that point, Rowsby said a recent CIMA survey found that reputational risk is a growing concern among finance leaders, revealing that three quarters of global surveyed companies are prepared to lose profit in the short term in order to protect their long term reputation.

The parliamentary reception was hosted by Lord Haskel who said that one of the House of Lords' (HoL) tasks is to hold not only the government but also businesses to account.

Lord Haskel mentioned as examples the HoL's commission on the banking industry and the inquiries on corporate taxation, railway fares, zero-hour contracts and energy prices.

"Certainly regulatory failures are partly responsible but so many are the recent examples of business people being greedy for themselves rather than ambitious for their companies," Lord Haskel said.

Lord Haskel added that the perceived wrongdoing in business has created an anti-business feeling, which according to him can only be corrected by changing values accordingly.

"I think that Tomorrow's Company values are very relevant. Ethical training is one reaction to this public mistrust," Lord Haskel said.


Related articles

Tone at the top and Integrated Reporting

Related links

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Tomorrow's Company


Top Content

    2018 Digital Accountancy forum and awards: Digital transformation

    The Accountant presents highlights from The Digital Accountancy Forum & Awards 2018 panel discussions

    read more

    2018 Digital Accountancy Forum and Awards: Tech deep dive

    The second panel session of the day saw experts discuss how new technologies should not just be seen as a threat, and could be used to improve accounting.

    read more

    Digital Accountancy Forum and Awards: The power of data

    The third panel discussion of the day saw panellists discuss some of the worries their clients have had, how to overcome them, and how data and technology are providing real business opportunities.

    read more

    Digital Accountancy Forum and Awards: The next generation

    With young people more mobile, and technology changing the industry rapidly, the final panel session of the Digital Accountancy Forum looked at how firms would need to adapt to the new reality

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.