Spiritual Accounting Essay

1787 words - 8 pages

Successful company leaders understand the importance of communicating accurate accounting information and developing a business plan – whether a proprietorship, partnership or corporation. The language of the organization must be clear, or firms risk financial peril as experienced by Enron and WorldCom, or, currently, the 20-year-old multimillion-dollar Farish Street Project in downtown Jackson. These events suggest we should align ourselves with God and become good stewards of our daily blessings. If we neglect our responsibilities and misrepresent ourselves, we will pay a steep price. Job 4:8 tells us that those who sow sin and trouble will reap the same. This Scripture illustrates the ...view middle of the document...

It says a person should not spread a false report. The examples of Enron and Arthur Andersen illustrate that God does not reward wrongdoers even if it may seem some individuals prosper despite not following the teachings of God or failing to embrace his sovereignty.
We often see this among politicians, entertainers and entrepreneurs. For some wealthy people, there is a “disconnect” with the Lord because money is less of an issue. Sadly, the following expression holds true: “If we never had any problems, we would never know that there is a God who can solve them.” Although God is merciful, he shows his anger against evil men who ignore truth. Fortunately, through his infinite wisdom and mighty power, the Lord can lead his wayward sheep back to the flock. James 3:17-18 says the wisdom from heaven is first pure and full of quiet gentleness, then peace-loving and courteous. No amount of money can guarantee perpetual health or financial solvency. A man becomes wise through trust and reverence.
Because stakeholders must be able to assess the viability of a firm, fairness is a basic tenet of accounting. Holt (2010, p. 1) says relevant information helps managers, investors and creditors make intelligent business decisions. This conforms to the teachings in Exodus 23:1-9 that individuals should not engage in false reports. There should be a commitment to truth and honesty, for the Lord detests lies. Taking it a step further, we should have the courage to expose wrongdoing in our professional and spiritual lives. Sherron Watkins, for example, catapulted to fame after blowing the whistle on Enron’s corrupt accounting practices. While the exposure may not have spared people of their life savings or creditors and other stakeholders of their investments, it led to the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank legislative reforms. Jordan, Ross and Westerfield (2011, p. 12) say the intent of these measures was to thwart corporate accounting fraud. John 10:28-29 tells us to have confidence and not fear doing the right thing. Even the son of Bernie Madoff, owner of a New York investment security firm, shed light on the Ponzi scheme concocted by his father, who described the operation as “one big lie.” Another scam of major proportion was one closer to home. WorldCom, formerly headquartered in Clinton and led by Bernie Ebbers, resulted in nearly $4 billion in accounting misstatements. Ignoring Leviticus 19:11, the executives stole from, lied to and defrauded stakeholders.
Analyzing debts, credits: spiritual life and business
As Christians, we must find a balance in our spiritual lives in much the same way that balance sheets, income statements and statements of cash flow should align with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). As believers, we trust that God will direct us to be fair and just in coping with tough situations and difficult people. Regardless of the situation, we must imitate God, who, according to...

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