Thenature of accounting profession requires accountants to adhere to thecode of ethical standards and principles. Employers and businessesmake their corporate decisions with reference to the professionaljudgment provided by accountants (Beverly 928-944). Besides, aneconomy’s resource allocation, which affects the general public, ismade from such judgments. Therefore, maintaining public and clientconfidence necessitates ethical conduct among accountants.
Persuasive speech Topic: Ethics in accounting
Purpose of the Speech: The speech aims at addressing the issue of accounting ethics, and why there is need for professional accountants to practice highest levels of ethical standards.
Beverly,Jackling Cooper, Barry J. Leung, Philomena & Dellaportas,Steven. Professional Accounting Bodies` Perceptions of EthicalIssues, Causes of Ethical Failure and Ethics Education. ManagerialAuditing Journal,22 (9): 928–944, 2007.
David,Alexander & Britton, Anne. FinancialReporting.London: Cengage Learning EMEA, 2004.
Love,Vincent J. UnderstandingAccounting Ethics,(2 nd ed). TheCPA Journal,2008.
Mills,Daniel Quinn. Wheel,Deal, and Steal: Deceptive Accounting, Deceitful CEOs, andIneffective Reforms.Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT/Prentice Hall, 2003.
Stuart,Iris. Ethicsin the Post-Enron Age.SouthWestern/Thomson, 2004.
Thereis no doubt that the issue of accounting ethics has become a majorconcern in the present time. In his book, Ethicsin the Post-Enron Age from2004, Stuart Iris states that this has been attributed by theincreased corporate scandals as well as business collapses whichquestion the integrity of the accounting profession. They havequestioned the efficiency of modern accounting, corporate governance,and auditing practices, which are conducted by professionalaccountants. According to Mill Daniel’s book, Wheel,Deal, and Steal: Deceptive Accounting, Deceitful CEOs, andIneffective Reforms from2003, scandals results from financial frauds and assetmisappropriation by accountants who want to satisfy their own needs,rather than the company’s needs.
Itis claimed that accountants have contributed greatly to the reductionof corporate ethical standards. Love Vincent writes in his bookUnderstandingAccounting Ethics,that the collapse of various corporations such as WorldCom and Enronin 2002 indicates that financial scandals evidenced in the currentperiod are indicators of serious issues to come.
Havingsaid this, there appears to be an apparent need for accountingprofessionals to act in the interest of the public, and promoteprofessional and ethical standards while conducting business. Thismeans that accountants must maintain high ethical standards asrequired of them. In their book, FinancialReporting,David and Britton states that ethical competence is a prerequisite ofbecoming professional accountants.
Inthe accounting profession, appropriate ethical behavior is paramountdue to various reasons. In his book, Ethicsin the Post-Enron Age from2004, Stuart Iris states that accountants handle and are aware ofsensitive financial information concerning their clients. Suchinformation encompasses bank account and social security amongothers. It means that high level of trust between the two partiesshould exist. While accountants are entrusted with financialinformation by their clients, the latter expect that such informationshould not be breached. Similarly, the accounting industry should notbe labeled as unethical, as it could have detrimental impacts on theentire accounting companies.
LoveVincent writes in his book UnderstandingAccounting Ethicsthat unethical accounting practices can result in numerous negativeimpacts, affecting various parties including the clients, businesses,accountants themselves, as well as accounting industry. Businesseslag behind considering that most decisions made are based on theinformation provided by the accountants. Besides, unethical behaviorin a firm may result in withdrawal of customers, as well as shunningaway of prospective ones. Violation of ethical standards may resultin severe legal actions taken for the accountants.
Inorder to maintain ethical behavior, accountants need to be conversantwith the code of ethical standards and principles. They should alsounderstand laws concerning accounting practices, as the legal codeoffer a foundation on the right behaviors. Protecting clientfinancial information single-mindedly should be the core interest ofan accountant.
AsI conclude, the application of professional ethics in accountingguarantees public trust with regard to business practices andfinancial reporting. It also ensures fair treatment of all parties,and places clients in optimal positions.