The Ethical Decision Making Model

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Ability The first attribute of the trust model is ability. Ability is defined as having the skills to accomplish a task, competency, proficiency or talent in a certain area (Liberty University, 2015). Often ability is thought of as an inborn talent, for instance one of the authors has the innate ability to play sports. In this case however, ability means a learned and practiced expertise. To be clear, the authors are not trying to equate ability as a being able to disarm someone or earn trust, but using it as a hard skill set, a competency. As ability relates to accounting, trust and ethics, demonstrating professional ability is a vital element of the Trust Production model and it cannot be easily separated into a standalone skill. Ethical Evaluation Each element of the ethical decision making model is interdependent. If an accountant is lacking in ability, i.e. professional competency and appears inept, a client would be well within their rights to withhold some level or all trust in its entirety. When considering the ability of an accountant, a good example of this is preparing annual reports for submission to the Securities Exchange Commission. Without the proper level of ability, the results could be erroneous. Incorrect financial statements damage the reputation of the accounting profession and weaken public confidence and trust. Ability is further developed by continuing education classes and staying current in evolving topics. (Tolleson & Guess, 2013)
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