Review of Accounting Ethics - Week 3
Given the corporate ethical breaches in recent times, assess whether or not you believe that the current business and regulatory environment is more conducive to ethical behavior:
In the past several years, Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and others have committed financial scandals, which caused the stock market to take a hard hit. Investors and lenders learned from these scandals in the past, and just recently, have become hesitant to invest in any company that they think, or know for a fact, the company is corrupted and/or unethical. “United States regulators and lawmakers were very concerned that the economy would suffer if investors lost confidence in corporate accounting because of unethical financial reporting. In response, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX, or Sarbox)” (Weygandt, Kimmel, & Kieso, 2012, p. 7).
SOX is in place to minimize unethical conduct in corporations and ultimately, scandals. “As a result of SOX, top management must now certify the accuracy of financial information. In addition, penalties for fraudulent financial activity are much more severe” (Weygandt et al., 2012, p. 7). With these standard rules and regulations in place, corporations are less likely to commit any fraudulent activity because there is more scrutiny from lawmakers. Also, corporations have a better chance to survive as a company if they are truthful with their investors and lenders upfront, than if they were to try to hide any fraudulent activity.
Based on your research, describe the organization, the accounting ethical breach and the impact to the organization related to ethical breach: