Newspaper headlines and leading television stories indicate that the public is outraged by personal, government, and business scandals and by inappropriate and notorious conduct of individuals who are in positions of leadership.
Complaints and lawsuits against individual licensees continue to take up limited resources of professional associations and state regulatory agencies. Since the Watergate scandal of the s, the majority of law students are required to take ethics courses, and the majority of state Boards require their potential licensees to receive ethics training prior to receiving their license to practice public accounting.
Computer-assisted design permits architects and engineers to refine their calculations so that they can construct buildings with the thinnest, least expensive materials with virtually no margin for error. The role of ethics training for adults becomes more important as other centers of moral influence diminish.
Developing Ethical Decision-Making Skills While accounting educators diligently labor to provide meaningful course content about professional practices to new and prospective practitioners, discussions of ethical dilemmas are marginalized at best, or at worst, sacrificed to the demands of limited class time.
Prior to the s, it was common for schools, places of worship, and media to inculcate values. For these reasons, the 21st century promises to be a period of enormous ethical challenges. The public discussion on issues of ethical importance focuses on contentious debates over topics that divide us.
Moreover, research studies indicate that participation in those courses may, depending on their format, enhance ethical decision-making skills, and, at the very least, orient students and licensees to the best practices of the profession.
Legislatures continue to entice practitioners to virtue by enacting legislation. For example, public schools promoted citizenship and patriotism. Examples of such topics include gun control, abortion, and homosexuality. Failures related to the accounting profession occur as well.
There is a clear and urgent need. Yet, even in a culturally diverse society, we can seek and find a common ground in determining ethical behavior and steps to moral judgments.
The Josephson Institute of Ethics, for example, focuses its ethics education program for young people on the "Six Pillars of Character": Teachers who wish to engage in character education are increasingly pressured by parents who debate, "Whose values shall we teach?
When a profession does not guard its own reputation and acts in such a way to harm the public, federal and state legislatures respond by creating new laws. Behaviors that suggest an ethical vacuum continues to grow.
Courses on ethics are becoming a mandatory part of the curriculum. Technology allows us to introduce new innovations into our homes and workplaces with little time for research on the social, economic, and medical impacts they may have on our lives. In spite of the diversity of opinion over topics, we still share basic values such as honesty, justice, caring, and a respect for others.
Today, in addition to facing enormous financial constraint, schools cannot meet all of the needs of an increasingly pluralistic student body. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board was created to regulate the accounting profession and ensure the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures made pursuant to the securities laws.
For example, the lack of auditor independence associated with the accounting shams of Enron was a major factor in the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a sweeping piece of reform legislation intended to protect investors by, among other things, creating the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
Never before have we had to ponder the possibility of a worldwide banking collapse. These failures run the gamut between aggressive accounting practices to outright fraud. Many college students take ethics courses as part of their required undergraduate curriculum experience. In addition, most state Boards now require ongoing ethics training as a requirement for license renewal.
The public demands higher ethical conduct from business professionals. Nevertheless, ethical decision-making skills are critical to the long-term success of practicing CPAs for a variety of reasons: Some of these young people will enter the accounting profession as ethical illiterates.
We are bombarded with stories about the many moral failures of our political leaders, industry executives, top athletes, and entertainers. For example, never before have we had to consider the ethical issues of human cloning.
We live in a time when ethical temptations and dilemmas confront us more frequently, largely due to new technological capabilities. Though students or licensees who participate in courses on ethics or ethical decision-making skills do not necessarily become more ethical, mandatory licensee participation in ethics courses sends a powerful message from influential professionals that ethics is important to the profession.
Organizations that study ethics reveal cheating and lying among high school and college students is on the rise. They will look to their professional organizations, to their licensing agencies, to their teachers, and to their supervisors for guidance in making ethically sound business and professional decisions.Uniform CPA Examination Blueprints i The perception and comprehension of the including the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), U.S.
Government Accountability Office (GAO), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. The perception and comprehension of the Uniform CPA Examination Blueprints Continued Section Remembering and governing bodies, including the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), U.S.
Government Accountability Office (GAO). Public Perception of the Profession What does the American public think of accountants and why should accounting professionals care? In the immediate post-Enron era, auditors were characterized in public debate as asleep at the wheel, sheep bullied by aggressive CEOs, even criminal coconspirators.
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A History of the Public's Perceptions of Accountants Holly Eudora Fowler University of Tennessee - Knoxville Introduction "Close y our eyes and think ofaccountants. (Stay awake, now.) Lois Etherington [a Simon Fraser University professor Jadmits the first image that probably comes to.Download