Niedermeyer, and Presha Niedermeyer. They performed surveys using internal auditors of public companies and external auditors from large and small firms. The survey questioned how auditors made ethical decisions, and they also wanted to see how internal auditors answered versus how external auditors answered. The result of the surveys showed that there was no difference in decision- making between internal and external auditors in the aspect of how major the effects unethical decisions on victims would be. The only difference between auditors in this study was how they make decisions on what is right and what is wrong. It appears that auditors that work for the Big Four have a stronger sense to determine what is right or wrong as opposed to the other auditors working in large and small firms. The study suggests that each firm adopts policies and special training to combat these
In addition, associated with the misapplication of accounting methods, the financial industry has been plagued with one disaster after another involving numerous scandals from top leading American companies. Consequently, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in 2002 compromising eleven sections that are generated to insure the responsibilities of the company’s managers and executives. This act identifies criminal penalties for particular unethical practices and currently has new policies that a corporation must follow in their financial reporting. The following examples describe some of biggest accounting methods as a result of the greed and the outrage of the ethical and financial misconduct by the senior management of public corporations.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX), also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act and the Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act, was signed into law on July 30, 2002, by President George W. Bush as a direct response to the corporate financial scandals of Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco International (Arens & Elders, 2006; King & Case, 2014;Rezaee & Crumbley, 2007). Fraudulent financial activities and substantial audit failures like those of Arthur Andersen and Ernst and Young had destroyed public trust and investor confidence in the accounting profession. The debilitating consequences of these perpetrators and their crimes summoned a massive effort by the government and the accounting profession to fight all forms of corruption through regulatory, legal, auditing, and accounting changes.
Financial reporting practices and ethics have manifested an ocean of literature. This has mainly come from organization theorists that address accounting practices. These theorists and professionals have given fresh accountability measures. Their ideals give this industry the tools needed to survive, grow and prosper. The way an organization prepares and reports its financial information and handles its daily operations is in essence financial practices, and in the way it accomplishes this reveals their ethical standards to which they adhere to. This paper will discuss the financial practices, ethical standards, and
“ In order to prevent fraudulent financial reports and statements, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants(AICPA) has created ethical standards” (Ethical standards in a financial statement, 2011). These standards aim to make financial professionals accountable for their accounting practices. This includes the integrity of financial reporting and ensuring financial reporting is done fairly and factually. Financial accountants and professionals should maintain professional integrity, objectivity, and independence to reduce the risk of resulting legal action, loss of profits, and a poor reputation if improper financial reporting is done (Ethical standards in a financial statement, 2011).
Accountants are held to a higher ethical standards and they must performed their duties in compliance with standards or ethical values of honesty, integrity, objectivity, due care, confidentiality, which must be fully committed to. They must put clients or public interest first before their own. They must have and ethical values and maintain those values way beyond what the society or the company’s code of ethic. It is important that accountants’ behavior or ethical values is in conformity with the
The Model of Trust Enhancement was established to enhance and maintain the public’s trust in the accounting profession. Over the last two decades, the ethics of the accounting profession has been questioned and public trust destabilized, in particular for auditors, due to the Enron debacle. The fact that an auditing firm would assist their clients with publishing an inadequate set of financial statements shows their willingness to violate laws and regulations (Sims & Brinkmann, 2003). According to the textbook, “Because trust is essential, even the appearance of an accountant’s honesty and integrity is important. The auditor, therefore, must not only be trustworthy, but he or she must also appear trustworthy” (Duska, Duska & Ragatz, 2011, p. 116). The majority of statements filed inadequately have a substantial impact on the credibility of the accounting profession as a whole. Sullivan (n.d.10) states that a CPA must possess a high level of trust, by applying professional judgment and enhancing the three trustworthy characteristics (ability, benevolence, and integrity) when resolving accounting ethics dilemmas (slide 3).
AICPA Code of Professional Conduct principles prevents vises such as fraud that are experienced in accountancy field. Audit is the best measure of the effect of the fraud that are imposed to investors by accountants. The relationship of the investors and account holders are supposed to be affirmed through auditing to ensure accounting principles are upheld(Weirich, Pearson, & Churyk, 2010). Improper loss of the funds through propagation of the accountant officer should be treated as fraud and criminal activity that should lead to prosecution. Therefore, the paper seeks to relate two fraud cases that have been audited and presenting AICPA Code of
Businesses, investors, creditors rely on accounting ethics. The accounting profession requires honesty, consistency with industry standards, and compliance with laws and regulations. The ethics increase the responsibility and integrity of accounting professionals, and public trust. The ethical requirements influence the management behavior and decision-making. The financial scandal of Enron and Arthur Anderson demonstrates the failure of fundamental ethical framework, such as off-balance sheet transactions, misrepresentation of financial statements, inaccurate disclosure, manipulations with earnings, etc. The confronted accounting profession and concern for ethics in businesses forced regulators to revise the conceptual framework of accounting processes.
Imagine trusting your hard-earned money like your retirement savings to a financial adviser or Certified Public Accountants (CPA) only to lose it all in a fraudulent Ponzi scheme. In today’s world of business many organizations, financial planners and accountants are in the news due to the financial ethical breaches that have affected their customers, employees, and the general public. A CPA has to be responsible for their audits and take any punishments as a result of their mistakes, incompetence or illegal actions. CPAs are expected to have integrity in their work,
Ethical issues have greatly transformed in our lives since the great Enron, Xerox and other huge corporations proposed big profits showing earnings of billions of dollars and yet in reality facing bankruptcy. These corporations faced great trouble with the federals and state for manipulating financial statements. But not only corporations can be blamed on this, accounting firms were involved in this as much as the corporations were. With the business stand point, ethics comprises of principles and standards that guide behavior. Investors, traders, customers, and legal system determine whether a specific action is ethical or unethical. Ethical issue is a vast subject, but we will look at the niche
In October 2001, Enron Corporation which was one of the world major energy, commodities and service companies with claimed revenues of nearly 111 billion dollars during 2000 collapsed under the weight of massive fraud in that it has become largest bankruptcy recognition in the US economy. Enron’s earning report was extremely skewed that losses were not represented in their entirety, prompting more and more wishing to participate in what seemed like a profitable company. After collapse of Enron, Auditor independence has become a social issue that weather auditor has to be independent or not. In addition, while auditing must consider matters objectively with dispassion, there were still doubts whether it implemented well. Further, there has been much speculation about the need for the mandatory rotation of auditors or audit firm rotation to warn false accounting between audit firm and client. By examining Enron case, this essay will discuss about advantages and drawbacks of the mandatory rotation of
Lindberg and Beck (2002) claim that auditor independence is hailed as the “cornerstone” in the accounting profession as it is the core reason as to why the public trusts their professional opinion. However, since 2000, many accounting fraud scandals have negatively impacted public opinion on the legitimacy of the audit profession and, if in fact, its independence is uninfluenced by other parties. One of the scandals being the sudden collapse of Enron, given that a few months prior its bankruptcy its auditors Arthur Andersen, which was one of the five largest audit and accounting firms, claimed that Enron was financially healthy, but in fact they were paid off
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the role of external auditing in promoting good corporate governance. The role of auditors has been emphasized after the pass of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as a response to the accounting scandal of Enron. Even though auditors are hired and paid by the company, their role is not to represent or act in favor of the company, but to watch and investigate the company’s financials to protect the public from any material misstatements that can affect their decisions. As part of this role, the auditors assess the level of the company’s adherence to its own code of ethics.