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Salt Lake Community College

Accounting 2010

Instructor: Wendy Gun

Mirian Bird

Personal Ethics and Financial Reporting

February 16, 2017

Thinking about ethics, I needed to search for the definition of two words that in my mind

has a similar meaning they are as follow:

Ethics - Moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of activity

(Google definition)

Honest - free from fraud or deception (Merriam-Webster)

The reason I had to look for the meaning of these two words is a very valid one, and I

will explain. I come from Brazil, and my first language is Portuguese, from this statement you

can conclude that the form how we employ words in a sentence give them a different meaning.

In the case of ethics and honesty; in Brazil as parents, we teach our children, to be honest, and

for us when we do that mean that we are equipping them with the moral principles that will guide

them in situations such as not to lie, not to steal, to speak the truth and to take responsibility for

their actions. As for the second, word ethic; we are thought in regards to our job moral tools,

which somehow ends up contradicting the definition of the terms in English, it seems that we

transposed the factors in Brazil.


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I consider both to be crucial, independently if it is or not the inverse in Portuguese or

English. Let me tell a short and frustrating situation that happened to me just two days ago; I am

a mother of two little boys and three years old and an 8-year-old. The 8-year old I will call him J

here to preserve my sons identity.

- Yesterday I went to PT conference, and I heard great things about my son to lighten up

any mothers heart, and the teacher very sweetly made excellent observations about J, smart,

very participative, knows all the curriculum that is being thought, he gets things very easy, he is a

leader person, makes friends very easy, but, ah; that but is the only that always gets you at

the end. So, she goes, - We have only dealt with a little problem of honesty! That was like a

could knife that I just felt through the heart. A million things going through my mind, but

basically, the biggest one is: Ohhh. Im going to kill him when I get home, ooh he will see! Hell

be ground for life. (Yes!!! I am a drama queen when it comes to my kids) Is not every mama?

Please tell me if I need therapy!

- The teacher goes and tells me that he been sneaking candy and some items from the

other kids. That the other day he got a very nice pencil from a girl, he stole some valentines

candy from another student. My reaction was a shock, why would my son do this, he has

everything he wants. Why would he have this type of behavior? He is punished when needed; I

am a sane parent.

Leaving the silliness aside, arent we as parents supposed to teach our kids, to be honest,

and ethic? So, where did J lost all that we have been teaching him? That made me mad because I

do not accept this type of behavior. But my real subject is not my son, but the ethic and honesty

that governs humans conducts.


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We are thought from a very early age what are and are not acceptable moral behaviors.

First, parents guide us, later we are guided by teachers in school throughout our life, and we are

abided by law to these moral principles. Not only country laws bind us, but as well by our

religious beliefs. After watching the videos proposed in the assignment link, I pondered why

people think that there is any justifiable mean to act unethically? I wonder why my son J, thinks

are ok for him to behave dishonestly? On the video, the white collar criminal thought that a

medical necessity was enough excuse for him to steal from others.

Henry David Thoreau said, Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and die with their

song still inside them, Imagine if every human being turns it off their moral compass in the face

of adversity to justify each dishonest and unethical act they commit? I do not believe that will

ever have any justification for such behavior. My dad, he never graduated high school, to be

honest, he never came out of second grade, 55 years ago, in Brazil school education didnt make

that much of a difference however, he is a sagacious man, and the would say to me: - My

daughter if in this life, you cannot be anything, the most important you can be is an honest

person. My dad was right; no one can ever buy trust, it is something hard to attain, but very easy

to lose. It is amazing the way a person that commit fraud or steal act do they think that they will

never get caught or that they are doing in in a way that no one will find out? Nothing that is done

in this world is done in secrecy, eventually all surfaces.

I think about the accounting job, an accountant that handles the finances where a

significant amount of money is movement and is prompted to commit fraud by his peers, this

person need to have an adamant ethic not to get into some scheme. Because if this person is

persuaded to do so, he will be the first to go to jail when all is discovered, the rope always breaks

on the weak side first. I would rather be fired than be part of something like that. I would not
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leave with my conscience after what I had done. I believe my strong ethic has always been one

of my greater qualities not only as a professional, but I also carry the same attitude in all parts of

my life. I am ethical professional, as I am a very honest friend, wife, daughter, sister and so on. I

never faced a situation that I had to make a difficult choice that would weigh on my ethic, and if

the situation presents itself in the future, it will not be hard for me.

Life moral values, ethics is a factor that will follow us in everything we do. In financial

reporting the connection is made very simple, if an accountant does not have an ethic, he will

fraud many documents as soon he is given a chance to take advantage. I cannot imagine the

ethical situations that wait for me in the future, apart from being bribed in order to make business

deals or things of sort, but that doesnt worry me, I have a lot of experience in making business

deals and in recognizing this type of situation, and I know pretty much my getting around it.