Ethics are moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior. In business, the same definition can be applied since all the people should be aware of their individual ethics code, but also the ethics code of a company as a whole. First article is the “Ethical Issues Facing CPA Tax Practitioners” which talks about research conducted on CPA tax practitioners concerning ethical issues, while the second article “Veritas Executive Resigns on News of Ethics Breach” is about Kenneth Lonchar, former employee of Veritas Software Corp, who lied about his educational background, which is a direct violation of code of ethics.
The purpose of this paper is to research ethics, while this is also a class requirement for AC172.
Business ethics is extremely important for business since it can create significant benefits like attract customers, investors and employees, and create positive work environment. Specifically, ethics for certified accountants is significant since they have to deal with vital business components and it is exceptionally important to deal with those stuff having the right ethics in mind.
Personal ethics is a mix of childhood, religious, cultural, and educational experience. All of these factors play an important role in development of personal code of ethics. Talking about history of business ethics, it is important to highlight that ethics is probably old as trade since there were documents like the Code of Hammurabi (1700s B.C.) which lay down the foundation of modern business ethics.
The question of whether ethics can be taught is an old one and there are a lot of discussions on this subject even today.
Even Socrates and other Athenian philosophers had divided opinions on this theme. Today, it is the same situation – while Wall Street journal recently published that ethics cannot be taught, other famous modern philosophers have opposite opinion. For CPE, I chose the state of Iowa, where CPE in ethics is required to be renewed every 3 years. The whole process requires 4 hours of ethics and rules of professional conduct CPE.
The business breach in this case is a personal ethics breach inside of the company. Mr. Lonchar, former employee of Veritas Sofware Corp, lied about his academic credentials and when company finally found out about it a several years after, he resigned on his own. “A Veritas biography says Mr. Lonchar received a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Arizona State University. A university spokeswoman said it could find no record that he was a student there” (par. 4). This was a big story back in the days, but it definitely was not an isolated case since I found a few other articles with the similar concerns. In this affair, employee did a right thing resigning and this case definitely rose company awareness of any possible future ethical issues.
In my opinion, business awareness of ethics is very developed and companies just have to apply all the knowledge in order to successfully run their businesses. It is very important that all people inside of a company are aware of what is right and what is wrong, while directors and managers are there to control and regulate all the actions. As I highlighted before, Certified Public Accountants are doing extremely valuable job that keeps businesses flowing and they should definitely implement code of ethics on a daily basis.