Accounting Ethics Can Make the Difference Reasons why Morals are Key Components

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Research Paper
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In the article of the New York Times, Claudia Parsons cites Steve Priest, president of Ethical Leadership Group, who eloquently sums up what can be justly called as modern crisis of accounting ethics: “Investors don’t trust the companies they’re investing in…

Introduction

They don’t trust the financial statements, they don’t trust the audits, they don’t trust the bond rating agencies.” Indeed, contemporary profession of accountancy has been continuously wrestling with how to improve ethics in the profession. In the wake of prominent accounting scandals such as Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and Arthur Andersen, the accounting profession in general and accounting ethics in the main has received both public’s and regulator’s glare. In 2002 the U.S. Congress responded to this dilemma with enactment of The Sarbanes-Oxley Act. However, when it seemed the regulatory field for adherence to accounting standards and ethics had been prepared, the world witnessed yet another crisis of accounting ethics triggered by unnoticed 50 billion Ponzi scheme invented and managed by Bernard Madoff for almost twenty years. Because the accounting profession is the gatekeeper of the financial affairs of the business community, it must strive to cultivate and maintain ethical standards and principles that must not be compromised. Ethical sensitivity is paramount in conducting business honorably and fairly. Business communities around the globe hold accountants in high esteem and expect them to be beyond reproach, ethically. ...
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