Unethical Behavior in the Workplace by anamaulida


									There is absolutely no room for unethical behavior in the professional
world. This statement is exceptionally important for publicly traded
companies and their accounting practices. From financial officers to
accountants to auditors, and so on, there is no greater impact on
stakeholders when these persons perform unethically.       Unfortunately,
there are multiple reasons for which one might consider acting
unethically when preparing financial information. The most obvious reason
may be quite simply, for self-interest-”greed.

  An accountant may embezzle funds from his or her employer for financial
gain. Or perhaps the CFO of a publicly traded corporation may prepare
financial statements to appear as though the company is performing much
better than it actually is, because he or she wants their stock portfolio
to increase.                  Another example for why unethical behavior
might exist is from corporate pressure. An accountant may feel pressured
from his or her client to report false information. Or maybe a CFO is
experiencing demand for improvements from the board of directors, the
company's president, owners, or stockholders; or he or she may be in fear
of losing their job.                  An accountant may decide to work
for a company even though a conflict of interest may exist. If the
accountant is owed money or has a significant stake in a firm, he or she
may not be the ideal individual to prepare certain companies' financial
statements.                  Finally, and perhaps the most common form of
unethical behavior, is the failure for an accountant to conduct an in-
depth analysis when preparing and revising financial information. There
are many individuals who prefer to take short-cuts in life; and frankly,
this simply is not acceptable when expected to perform in a professional
manor.                  There have been many laws enacted, on both state
and national levels, intended on preventing one from conducting unethical
accounting practices. In addition to these laws, have been many
recommendations to implement changes geared towards the improvement of
professional ethics.       Two such individuals, who have spent much time
working on this topic, are: Jane B. Romal and Arlene M. Hibschweiler.
According to the June 2004 CPA Journal, Romal and Hibschweiler
recommended that -œstates should be encouraged to mandate ethics training
as part of CPE requirements-•.                  This notion forced the
Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA) to begin a more intense
training regimen for accounting educators, CPAs, and accounting students.
This included having every licensee taking four-hour ethics courses on
the board's Rules of Professional Conduct every two years. The Arizona
State Board of Accountancy requires every Arizona CPA to take an ethics
class for licensing renewal.                  In addition to state level
mandates, is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Section 406 of the Sarbanes-Oxley
Act requires that publicly traded companies disclose their code of ethics
for senior financial officers. The Act was designed to promote honest and
ethical conduct; full and accurate disclosure in periodic reports; and
compliance with applicable government rules and regulations.
Even with the actions of Romal and Hibschweiler, the TSBPA, and the
Sarbanes-Oxley Act; no one can regulate another's integrity. Some
individuals, regardless of their profession, will always look for some
form of personal gain, even if it means conducting themselves in an
unethical manner. This article is designed to help educate people on
unethical accounting practices, why they occur, and how we as a nation
can promote ethical behavior.       Roderick A. Jacobsen, CPA Karpinski
& Jacobsen www.PhxCPA.net         For quality Accounting Services in
Arizona, visit Phoenix CPA where you can find Accounting Resources and
Tax Forms.      References: Gaumnitz, B. (2004). Codes of ethics with
impact. CPA Journal, vol. 74, issue 5, 64-66. Kieso, D., Kimmel, P.,
Weygandt, J. (2005) Financial Accounting (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John
Wiley & Sons, Inc. VanZante, N. (2005) Improving professional ethics.
CPA Journal, vol. 75, issue 5, 9-11.              Related Articles -
Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Workplace Ethics, Unethical Behavior, Code of Ethics,
Arizona Accountant, Phoenix CPA, Karpinski & Jacobsen,   Email this
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