Accounting Ethics – The Importance of Ethical Practices in Business and Personal Finance

What is ethical accounting? The idea of accounting ethics deals with the moral and values-based judgments and decisions an accountant or accounting agency confront daily in their practice. Due to the nature of their work as communicators of financial information to business managers, shareholders, and the general public, as well bookkeeping and auditing of business entities, accountants and accounting agencies are held to the highest standards of transparency and morality in regards to their research and the information they convey. Accounting can be used as a way to study how and why a business may succeed or fail, but above all it is a public service; those who practice it must make judgments and decisions that can sometimes supersede the interests of their clients in favor of the interests of the public at large.

Failure to apply ethical standards to accounting creates the opportunity for manipulation of facts and information that, if used to mislead, could cause a person to invest under false pretenses, or a business to represent its finances fraudulently to its shareholders. It is of the utmost importance that the public be able to trust accountants and accounting, because their financial future, and that of their family or business, could be at stake.

Why is it important that accountants and accounting firms be ethical?

Over the years there have been several large accounting scandals in the United States, and in the world at large, which caused private investors and public shareholders to lose billions of dollars, and giant businesses and accounting firms to fold, because of falsified or incorrect information given out about the companies in which the money was invested. The Enron scandal is perhaps the most recent and glaring example of unethical accounting causing widespread negative effects, including the loss of $25 billion in shareholder assets, the closure of the Arthur Anderson auditing firm, and the subsequent loss of 85000 jobs when the unethical practices were reported and the company dissolved.

Ethical accounting is not only important to private businesses or individuals for reliable information about their respective financial states, but has a responsibility to the public to provide transparent evaluations of publicly held business entities. Ethical accounting can help eliminate the serious problems raised when incomplete or incorrect information about business or individual is disseminated, saving money and jobs and helping to increase stability in financial markets.

How to Advocate For the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Asking how to advocate for the ethical treatment of animals is a good first step to understanding what I am about to say, so thank you for asking.

You seem to feel a concern for pets and animals if you are asking that. You may feel concern for your own pets, and ripples of that feeling may extend to all other pets and animals. Your feelings may build and even last for a while after the speaker leaves the podium – or TV screen.

But feelings are not ethics.

Those who advocate for the ethical treatment of animals must go beyond feelings. They must seek proven facts. They must ignore the bandwagon and look for the parade organizers.

Why do I use the word “bandwagon?” When Americans first used the term in 1849, they were describing a large wagon that carried the band in a circus parade. They used the same wagons in celebrations of successful political campaigns. Theodore Roosevelt’s writings showed that he spoke of people “being on the bandwagon” to represent persons who attached themselves to something just because it appeared likely to succeed.

At any rate, we must be careful not to get caught up with advocating for the ethical treatment of animals simply because we jumped onto that particular bandwagon. We must turn our attention to the heart of the matter, and that is ethics.

DEFINITION OF ETHICAL TREATMENT

We need to begin by defining ethical treatment, and that calls for a definition of ethics itself. What do you mean when you say you want to advocate for the ethical treatment of animals?

ETHICS: This term refers to a system of moral values. We expect physicians, for example, to uphold a system of moral values called “professional ethics.” By that, we mean that we expect physicians to conduct themselves rightly, doing what is good and refraining from doing what is bad. Wise employers seek out employees who bring good “work ethics” to the job. By that, the employer means they will conduct themselves at work in a right manner, embracing good character traits such as punctuality and loyalty, while rejecting bad character traits such as procrastination and wasting time.

Consider issues such as cloning or animal treatment, and you discuss the “rightness” of the issue, i.e., the ethics of cloning; the ethics of animal treatment. The significant part in our discussion must answer the question of what our convictions tell us is right and wrong.

ETHICAL CONVICTIONS VERSUS PREFERENCES

Ethical thinking must form convictions, not personal preferences, on this and every issue. Those who seek to know how to advocate for the ethical treatment of animals must exercise caution when they consider groups who claim such advocacy.

I suggest that you read this quote from the web site of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/

“From the meat industry’s rampant abuse of animals and environmental devastation to the tremendous health benefits of a vegan diet to helping end world hunger and deplorable working conditions in slaughterhouses, there are countless reasons why more and more people are leaving meat off their plates for good and embracing a healthy and humane vegan diet.”

PETA makes clear on its web site its conviction that animals are not ours, and we therefore must not eat them, wear them, etc. Under the guise of ethics (moral rightness), they seek to convince us that we must extend the Golden Rule to all living beings: reptiles, mammals, fish, insects, birds, amphibians, and crustaceans.

Those who truly hold such a conviction ignore an immense fact! The source of the concept we call the Golden Rule is the greatest teacher ever to walk the Earth – Jesus Christ. Jesus stated it twice: in Matthew 7:12 and in Luke 6:31:


“… whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.” and in Luke: “… as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” The Holy Bible, (English Standard Version)

The rule we’ve come to call the Golden Rule tells us simply and powerfully that we must respect our fellow-man and practice the ethical treatment of all other humans, regardless of similarities or differences. This must become a strong conviction in the heart of every person born. Why? Humans possess souls, and only a soul can deal with moral values.

In addition to being dependent on participants having souls, the Golden Rule presents a reciprocal agreement.

Imagine with me, for a moment, that the Golden Rule really does extend to animals – and determine for yourself whether you hold PETA’s conviction.

Imagine that I hike into the forest and see a 500-pound male grizzly bear. I must not kill and eat the 500-pound grizzly bear and, conversely, that grizzly bear must not kill and eat 130-pound me – but it likely will because it has no soul, concept of right and wrong, and no knowledge of the Golden Rule.

Imagine that my husband hikes into the forest and sees a foot in front of him a Diamondback rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike. He must not make the rattlesnake suffer immensely and, conversely, that deadly rattlesnake must never make him suffer immensely – but it likely will because it lacks a soul and cannot distinguish right from wrong or obey the Golden Rule.

When you seek to advocate for the ethical treatment of animals, you must do so with solid, rational convictions about the connection between you and those animals. You may have a preference about the connection, but you must have a conviction for which you are willing to die if need be.

Perhaps we should ask how we can best advocate for the ethical treatment of animals. What is the moral, ethical way to treat non-humans that have no soul?

ANIMAL RESCUE

Animal rescue gives us a way to care for animals as we ought – rescuing animals with whom man lives, but that some people actively endanger for morally wrong purposes. While I recognize that some will judge moral values as individual, they are not. They are global standards that have stood firm for thousands of years. You can read more about moral values and study a list of 66 different character traits at https://bettilousblog.com/character-traits-make-a-whopping-difference/.

NEW ANIMAL RESCUE DONATION PROGRAM

Even if you cannot personally recuse animals in need, you can advocate for their rights by joining an animal rescue donation program. A new animal rescue donation program can especially use your help. Psyche Cremation Jewelry’s website launched a new animal rescue donation program recently. Why not visit them, get the details, and get involved right now.

CONCLUSION

A person asking how to advocate for the ethical treatment of animals can accomplish much more living in the mainstream of life, hammering out realistic convictions about the animal world, and participating in a new animal rescue donation program that has its feet firmly on the ground.

Ethical Issues In Inventory Management

When we speak of ethics violations we immediately think about executive management, or some sort of Wall Street scandal, and rarely do we realize that it happens more frequently from the bottom half of the workforce than the glass tower. Ethics violations in inventory management are committed by:

1.Knowingly giving inaccurate information to clients or prospective clients concerning pricing of storage space or other services, and the status of their inventory.

2.Favoring one vendor over another when purchasing goods or services because you have a friend that works for the preferential vendor or because of possible financial gain.

3.Cover-up of damaged products going out on a shipment.

4.Manipulating inventory figures and levels when the client questions his inventory levels or when management inquires about inventory statuses.

5.Work slowdown to gain overtime.

6.Giving preferential treatment to certain employees for possible gains in the future and friendship.

These are just a few examples and I’m quite sure that if you observed closely in your organization you can find many more. Why do these ethics violations occur? One reason is a lack of a code of ethics. Code of ethics are a specific set of professional behaviors and values employees must know and must abide by, including confidentiality, accuracy, privacy, integrity. Large organizations have a code of ethics, but violations occur because the standards are not enforced or management feels the violation is not worth their time.

Medium to small organizations lack a code of ethics program because they either don’t know how to develop one, it not important to them or it’s too costly in terms of finances and manpower.

Enron and Goldman Sachs are good examples of why it’s important of have a company code of ethics. In the business world the bottom line is to make money and there is nothing wrong with that but, when it consumes your organization and you take an attitude of making it at any cost, then that’s when the problem comes to view and people will do whatever they can be it ethical or unethical to make money.

A code of ethics will keep people within certain limits of what is acceptable in the organization in terms of behavior and business practices. Reality in the business world is that profits rule and as long as the shareholders are happy, and there is full employment in companies no one seems to care and ethics take a back seat to everything else.

With so much talk now days about morality in business and the state of the financial affairs of the world ethics is even more important today than before. Journalist are keeping an ardent eye out for the next business scandal and will uncover every stone to expose one, after all it sells news. Traveling and working in Asia I have found the Asian culture less sensitive to the actions of business not that they don’t care it just doesn’t consume their every waking moment and they aren’t quick to judge like the Western Nations.

Operating with honest principles and ethics is no less profitable than operating in an unethical manner. LeClair, Ferrell and Fraedrich, in their book Integrity Management (1998), describe five well-known successful companies that have invested organizational resources and are making profits and operating in an ethical manner three listed below you may recognize;

1. Hershey Foods

2. Home Depot

3. Waste Management

The old myth and saying “it’s not personal it’s just business” is as hollow then as it is now. Business is personal especially when you take the time to build a business relationship with vendors and clients to the point where they trust you, and acting in an unethical manner will certainly destroy any confidence they had in your product or services and make it nearly impossible to regain.