Ase Study: Ethical Behavior in Accounting and Financial Management

OVERVIEW: Ethics plays a critical role in providing useful financial information. Investors and other users must have confidence in a company, its accountants, and its outside auditors that the information presented in financial statements is relevant, complete, neutral, and free from error. Probably no time in the history of the accounting profession in the United States has seen more turmoil and change, than the period since the start of the new millennium. Corporate scandals have led to some of the largest bankruptcies in the history of business. Companies may use aggressive accounting practices to misrepresent their earnings; executives may misuse their companies funds; a corporate board of directors may undermine the goals of its own company; or a public accounting firm may fail its auditing duty to watch for and disclose wrongdoing.

ASSIGNMENT: Research a company that has been involved in a corporate financial scandal and In your paper, please include the following:

1. Identify the company and the ethical dilemma.
2. Analyze the key elements in the situation:

a. Who benefited or was harmed? How did they benefit? How were they harmed?

b. What rights or claims were violated?

c. What specific interests were in conflict?

d. What were the responsibilities and obligations of those in leadership positions?

3. Determine what alternative methods were available to report the transaction, situation, or event.

a. Which of the alternatives was most relevant?

b. Does the report you researched accurately represent the situation it claims to describe?

c. Is the information free from bias?

4. How was the situation resolved? What were the outcomes?