Ethics in accounting firms

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asked Sep 14 in Cell Tracking by marygold303 (120 points)

I work as a junior accountant in an accounting firm located about 5 km from the city. I am responsible for maintaining the petty cash book. Two weeks ago, my supervisor came and asked for a 5000 dollar cheque to entertain a client. At first, I hesitated, because the money was above what is usually taken for that particular purpose, but as a senior, I had to give him a cheque. Two days later, burglars broke into my office and stole the petty cash book as well as the other record keeping books. It appears to me that the one who did it had a hidden agenda, since nothing else was taken away. I have been accused of financial impropriety since I cannot prove where the money is without the cashbook. Another accusation levelled is that I colluded with the thieves to rob my office, so that I would conceal the evidence of the alleged impropriety. The supervisor has refused to accept that I gave him the money, and it has been decided that I have to face the firm’s ethics committee. The burglars have just been arrested and are willing to testify that they were paid to rob my office. Their testimony only comes after the false accusations, but I plan to use it as my defence. In addition, one of the thieves has surrendered the file containing the source documents that were used in filling the cashbook. I believe that I will prove my innocence when I present these documents to the ethics committee.

Both internal and external controls are important for maintaining the proper code of ethics. Internal controls are based on the beliefs and training that one has. Cooper suggests that these beliefs need to be cultivated in every public servant. It is not possible to always rely on an individual’s judgement for maintenance of ethical conduct, and this makes external controls necessary. A balance is needed between the level of autonomy and team play required for each worker. An excess of any of the above is not good for maintaining the code of ethics. According to Cooper, personal and business ethics are important for a healthy organization. It is unwise to disregard personal values when hiring a person and concentrating only on business ethics. Respect for a different culture is crucial for the survival of ethics in an organization. It should be a policy of all organizations to avoid any form of cultural discrimination. Treating anyone unfairly because of their culture is not only unethical, but also unlawful.

I would recommend candidate number one for the job. My decision is based on the fact that I have more information about him than about candidate number two. This is not tantamount to discrimination, since a decision has to be made and one has to get the work at the expense of the other. If candidate number two decided to file a suit for discrimination, he would not be able to prove his case, since there is no evidence that he was discriminated against basing on gender, health, language or religion. The fact that a decision has to be made means that one party will be disgruntled. Candidate number one, if not recommended, could also argue that I discriminated against him for the sole reason that I knew him. The moral issues that would arise in this case include nepotism, conflict of interest, and failure to review candidates based on their merits. All these would be raised by the unsatisfied party, but I would prove that I had followed the proper code of ethics when I made my decision. This is a case of ethical dilemmas that are faced during the hiring process, but they should not stop one making their decision.

In the previous organization that provided law essays ukwhere I worked as an accountant, I have noticed much embezzlement of company funds. There have been many alterations in the books of accounts for the past two years with the authorization of Chief Executive Officer. In my assessment, the company has lost money to the tune of five hundred thousand dollars. In fact, some business records have been destroyed in order to bury any evidence of financial impropriety. Since I discovered this in my line of duty it is right to say that these are not unsubstantiated rumours though the subject has not come to the public domain. I do not have any interest in the outcome, but I just wish to express my statutory rights to report the clear irregularities I have witnessed. There has not been any disagreement with my seniors over any legitimate policy, but I feel that the matter at hand is not trivial, since much money will be lost unless something is done about the situation. The claims I made are true and verifiable if only there is thorough auditing by independent auditors. I believe that the people who might be incriminated by the information I will give have a right to self-defence, since this is done with no malice or intention to defame anyone.


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