Accounting ethics Feed

Can Commercialism and Professionalism Co-Exist in the Accounting Profession?

Conflicts of Interest between Non-audit and Audit Services threatens Independence What we see today in the accounting profession is troubling. Increased commercial activities threatens the independence cornerstone of the profession that underlies its public interest obligation. Audit firms are pushing the envelope in their involvement with non-audit services that makes... Read more →


Has the Sarbanes-Oxley Act let to a Reduction in Financial Statement Restatements?

Ethics not Compliance Motivates Accurate and Reliable Financial Reporting One goal of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is to reduce the number of restatements of corporate financial reports, especially those that result from materially misleading financial statements. The question is, some five years later, whether the Act has accomplished its goals. Recent... Read more →


What makes for an Ethical Leader?

Leadership Styles and Ethical Behavior Warren Bennis, who is widely regarded as a pioneer of the contemporary field of Leadership Studies, once said: “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born -- that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have... Read more →


Is Whistle-blowing an Ethical Act Practice?

Personal Values and Organizational Culture are the Foundation of Whistle-blowing The ethics of whistleblowing is a tricky matter. Whistle-blowing brings two moral values, fairness and loyalty, into conflict. Doing what is fair or just (e.g., promoting an employee based on talent alone) often conflicts with showing loyalty (e.g., promoting a... Read more →


Recommendations for Dealing with Big-4 Audit Firm Ethical Violations

PCAOB Sanctions Fifteen Firms for Violating Auditor Independence Rules On December 8, 2014, the SEC announced that it was sanctioning eight firms and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) was sanctioning seven others for violating auditor independence rules when they prepared the financial statements of brokerage firms that were... Read more →


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 12, 2014 Contact: Robyn Kontra 805-756-5331; rkontra@calpoly.edu Cal Poly, Professor Earn High Ranks for Research in Accounting Education, Ethics SAN LUIS OBISPO­ — A 2014 survey published by the journal Issues in Accounting Education ranks Cal Poly No. 32 overall for research in accounting education over... Read more →


Ethics and Compliance Failures Underlie Hertz’s Restatement of Financial Statements

Hertz Restatements due to Inadequate Internal Controls and Faulty Audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers On November 14, 2014, Hertz confirmed that it would restate its financial statement results for 2012 and 2013, adding to the already announced restatement for 2011. The disclosure led to a 14% drop in the share price of... Read more →


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Tax Inversion Practices

Are Tax Inversions an Ethical Practice? Apple, the world’s biggest company by market capitalization, captured attention last month with the introduction of a digital watch, larger iPhones and a slick electronic payment system. Amid all the hype, there was scarcely any mention that much of its hardware is made outside... Read more →


Is Whistleblowing an Ethical Practice?

What Motivates a Person to Blow the Whistle on Financial Wrongdoing? Whistleblowing has become a more accepted practice in our society in part because the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act sanctions the practice under specific circumstances. The questions I address in today’s blog are: What are the values exhibited by a... Read more →


Are Corporate Inversions a Violation of Ethics?

What is the "Fair Share" concept and "Social Responsibility" of Corporate Income Tax Payments to the U.S. Government? I recently blogged about tax inversion with respect to Walgreens possible relocation to Europe as a way to reduce its corporate tax burden. Three hedge funds and a Goldman Sachs investment fund... Read more →