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Ethical Issues Facing the Accounting Profession

Pressure From Management
Accountant as Whistleblower
The Effects of Greed
Omission of Financial Records


Highlights of Finance and Accounting
Ethics Research
Ethical behavior is difficult for any researcher to measure and analyze, especially in real-life situations.
Results are often imprecise due to the challenges inherent in quantifying what is ethical and what is not.
Much of the work done is theoretical, and involves either creating or applying ethics models. To draw
conclusions from ethics research, due to the many variables involved, researchers must rely on judgment
and assumptions as they study an individual’s actions, reactions and reasoning for the individual’s
behavior. Nonetheless, the conclusions drawn and models proposed in ethics research provide valuable
insights into ethical behavior, and it is an important area of academic research.
Recent research suggests a shift in the ethical behavior of management, apparently linked to the highly
visible convictions of Enron executives. The timing of two separate studies by the same author reveals
interesting changes in the decision-making behavior of management before and after the convictions.
This research suggests a movement toward a more “heightened state of ethical awareness” resulting
from the greater likelihood of punitive consequences imposed for unethical corporate behavior given highprofile trials for alleged corporate malfeasance.

Corporate ethics programs have become widespread in part because organizations convicted of ethical
violations are eligible to have their federal penalties reduced by up to 95% if they have a qualifying ethics
program in place. This change occurred due to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations
(FSGO) of 1991.


specifically:  Principle-centered leadership  Transparency  Stakeholder voice  Ethical culture Source: Authors Mark Bandsuch.One of the goals of an effective ethics program is to inspire trust in the organization.html Philosophical theories of ethics    (a) The theory of utilitarianism (b) The theory of rights (c) The theory of justice Source: http://www. Larry Pate and Jeff Thies note that organizations can enhance trust through the inclusion of certain key elements in corporate governance .