The Accounting Career And Its Contributions To Society

1157 words - 5 pages

Since the day we are able to comprehend, our parents have tried to set a good example for us to understand the importance of right and wrong and how to act in many situations. As we get older to attend school, our teachers, family, and friends also influence our daily lives. During our journey to adulthood, we come across everyday challenges of whether to be ethical or unethical in situations we find ourselves in. When entering our career profession, we are taught and trained by the company to understand their ethical codes of conduct, such as in an accounting career. The accounting career has been an increasing and prominent profession that continues to play a valuable role to society. Because accountants serve as financial reporters and mediators, the information they provide requires a high level of ethics in assisting executives, investors, and other businesses in making critical financial decisions. Ethical misconduct by accountants can be damaging to society, resulting in distrust by the public and business operations. However, there are many influences and pressures placed on accountants as well as creditors, stockholders, and other parties affected by financial decisions. For example, in September 2004, Jay Reeves of The Washington Post had written that HealthSouth, “the largest U.S. operator of rehabilitation-hospitals, was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department for allegedly overstating earnings by $2.5 billion since 1999.” This accounting scandal had put several people in prison for the unethical decisions they decided to participate in. Another example of a major company’s unethical decision making is well known as Enron. According to the University of Washington Michael G. Foster School of Business, “Enron’s fraud included both complex financial maneuvering and simple fabrication of numbers. But the reason it tops the list is because of its impact on our view of the American economic system.” Again, many people were indicted and sent to prison for their unethical decisions. If our ethics is not based on our feelings, law, or our religion, then what were these companies really considering when making these unethical decisions? In my paper, I will discuss the five sources of ethical standards that many ethicists and philosophers have suggested and give examples of each approach.
The first source of Ethical standard is the “Utilitarian approach”, which emphasize on the ethical actions that causes the maximum benefits instead of harm, or putting it in another way it suggest that the production of any action by humans is greatly balanced by the good over harm. The ethical corporate action is the one that produces the greatest good and does the least harm for all who are affected—customers, employees, shareholders, the community, and the environment. It deals with the consequences of trying to increase the good done while reducing the harm done (History, Concepts, Ethics and Rule-Making...

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