30 per cent of Sheffield finance professionals ‘feel under pressure’ to compromise ethical standards, says report

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Almost a third of finance professionals in Sheffield feel under pressure to compromise their ethical standards, according to a new report.

The third annual Managing Responsible Business report by the Chartered Institute of Management Accounts (CIMA) revealed the proportion of UK-based workers reporting such pressure jumped from 18 per cent in 2012 to 30 percent in 2015.

Alarmingly, 21 per cent of respondents agreed those who report concerns about unethical behaviour are seen as troublemakers by management.

Tanya Barman, head of ethics at CIMA, said: “Profit and ethics are not two opposing aims. A responsible and well-run business is more likely to survive in the long-term. However, our latest Managing Responsible Business report shows that many finance professionals in Sheffield are facing pressure to condone poor practice of their colleagues or to behave unethically themselves.

“The report highlights that we are still struggling to work our way through a crisis of culture within business, and we need to maintain our focus. Our study shows that we can no longer afford to think of ethical performance in business as just a compliance issue.”

The report polled 2,498 finance professionals worldwide. The top cause of pressure to compromise standards of ethical business conduct was identified as working with colleagues from different functional areas within the organisation, which was reported by 21 per cent of respondents.

In addition, meeting reporting deadlines (18 per cent) and working with partners internationally (14 per cent) were also pressures respondents had encountered.