Discuss About The Ethics Impacts On Perception In Accounting?
Globally, the accounting profession has been faced with the challenge of distrust from the public because of the sensitive role they play within organizations of handling the finances and the records pertaining to them. The situation arises as a result of the numerous cases that have been mentioned either at the institution levels or in the mainstream media about embezzlement of funds. In response to the increase of the problem, learning institutions are accorded the responsibility of introducing the proper ethics to students during their training programs. The code of business-law is a document that has been audited and found acceptable by bodies that govern this sector in the country. In order for the members of the public to develop trust towards the profession, they should carry out disciplinary measures against the culprits of these crimes.
APESB (2013) outlines the correct procedure provided for individuals within the field to carry out in case they realize there are persons practicing unethical activities. In that respect, there are provisions within institutions to curb the vice such that there is designated authority to whom these reports can be filed and they are mandated with the duty to solve them. However, some institutions may not have anticipated possibilities of the problems taking place in their premises, in which case the person with a complaint ought to seek legal advice before taking action (APESB, 2013). In a situation where the authority does not solve the problem to the satisfaction of the reporter or they feel no action was taken, as a responsible employee they should not leave it at that. The provision is therefore to consider the consequences one will be exposing themselves to before taking alternative action (APESB, 2013). In such case, disciplinary bodies out of the institution or filling a complaint with the court of law would be advisable with the full knowledge that they are fully responsible for the same.
accounting to McDowall and Jackling (2010), the public perception of the accounting profession is generally negative including in higher learning institutions. In colleges, the students carry their pre-perceived picture hence even when they are taught what is expected they treat it as a requirement to respond to exam papers rather than adopt and integrate into their professional activities (McDowall & Jackling, 2010). Apparently, if the participants in the field lack faith in the industry, then convincing the general public trust them is even harder. Therefore, they should develop a proper image in regard to this field which in turn influences the external environment to change their view on them. In addition, they owe it to the field to portray the profession in a positive manner since people’s judgment is guided by the things they see or hear about the subject of their interest.
Brooks and Dunn (2011) insist that in order to fix a problem, it must be identified and the inlets allowing it in understood and blocked. In that case, tutors should not casually produce notes on this sensitive topic but rather they should introduce class discussions that relate to real-life problems experienced by those occupying important offices that they are training to join in the future. The example given is that whereby there was a case of fraud or corruption, there ought to be a brainstorming session where learners suggest an alternative course of action that if they were in that position they would utilize to handle the cases (Brooks & Dunn, 2011). Teaching these virtual in young professionals is the right strategy to employ in eradicating the challenges in the future and consequently, improve trust with the public when they realize the change in regime.
Rezaee (2004) implied that the people’s trust in accountants is eroded due to repeated cases of published financial statements that end up being flawed when situations contrary to the reports arise. Therefore, he claimed that the responsibility of such vices should not be carried by one individual since the code of conduct ought to be upheld by all stakeholders responsible for that type of information at the various stages. These include the control bodies, law-makers, as well as the business executive officers who might have influenced the type of reports they wanted to safeguard the institution reputations Rezaee (2004). As far as the proper code of ethics that govern activities of the professionals is concerned, all issues have been addressed. However, the will and clearly defined course of action or means of auditing offenders and coming up with a proper determination that they participated in the vice in order to accord the right penalty is often missing.
The code has a properly laid out course of action such that where complaints arise about fraud towards a member of the public there are procedures to solve them (APESB, 2013). As such, if the members of the public are provided with the information that there are procedures they can follow to reverse an injustice performed towards them then their faith in the system might be rejuvenated. In addition, where a business has no existing problem-solving mechanisms, the code provides for an alternative method in the quest to leave no gaps in the systems. For instance, on matters relating to taxation and compliance to other government revenue requirements, they are addressed in such a way that despite possible attempt to evade, they are made to follow right procedures. In addition, the law provides for proper response towards other parties (APESB, 2013).
According to APESB (2013), there are various fundamental principles participants must be followed for the proper running of an entity. However, their application should be guided by the specific case one is handling to ensure the right thing is done but at the same time avoid attracting unnecessary attention towards the business or blow the issue out of proportion since a bad reputation is not easy to recover from once the information gets in the public domain. These values include but are not limited to upholding integrity at all times for the workers at the work-place (APESB, 2013). Additionally, professionalism and confidentiality in regard to all activities carried out while carrying out everyday activities are recommended. When professionals display these virtual, the general public faith in the institutions is regained since the loss of the same was as a result of failure to display goodwill in the manner in which they have been perceived to conduct their activities.
Carnegie and Napier (2010) argued that accounting profession has been at the center of criticism due to a few writers who produced materials suggesting that the bigger percentage of individuals in this field are corrupt. He also claimed that the plight is defined by a few cases reported to the public through the media and in these cases the accountants were not given a chance to present their side of the story (Camergie and Napier, 2010). As such, if the narratives were to change and apply higher standards of responsibility to the media where defamatory unverified stories would be costly to air, then the name of the profession would be restored. In addition, the public inquisitiveness to ensure they only believe the credible sources and avoid stereotyping a whole field due to a few guilty players would be a substantial contribution in acquiring back the dignity.
Pierce (2007) claimed that for the people’s perception of the accountants and the entire occupation, they would be required to offer entirely trust-worthy information. Apparently, the capital market which is very popular with investors requires participants to be provided with the real market figures which will properly guide their investment decision. In such a case, their confidence will most likely be restored and let the perception of untrustworthy haunting over them disappear (Pierce 2007). Additionally, the firms facing criticism should put into place proper disciplinary business towards the culprits to warn others employees that may be tempted to engage in the vice. Consequently, the action will play a vital role in giving the public hope that these practices are unacceptable within the field (Pierce 2007). On the contrary, in publicized cases where the participants keep their positions and the external population does not get to hear about how the matters were resolved may make them brand these institutions as corruption-tolerant.
Pierce (2007) also indicate that updating the regulations governing the field over time as new challenges arise is one method of managing the perception people have on the entire occupation. Apparently, the public needs to feel that their concerns are being attended by the oversight teams and are keeping up to date with the current trends in order to curb them before they get established. As such, the public confidence in the profession is dependent the manner in which institutions respond to issues that they are confronted with as well as how they conduct themselves in their day-to-day engagements. In addition, where unfounded information has been spread, it is wise to carry out independent audits by other reputable firms and let the reports out into the public domain to avoid a case where losses are encountered due to the negative publicity (Pierce, 2007).
APESB (2013). www.apesb.org.au/uploads/standards/apesb_standards/standardc1.pdf
Brooks, L. J., & Dunn, P. (2011). Business & professional ethics. Cengage Learning.
Carnegie, G.D., Napier, C.J. (2010). Traditional accountants and business professionals: Portraying the accountant profession after Enron. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 35(3), 360-376.
McDowall, T., & Jackling, B. (2010). Attitudes towards the accounting profession: an Australian perspective. Asian Review of Accounting, 18(1), 30-49.
Pierce, A., (2007). Ethics and professional accounting firm: A literature review. Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.
Rezaee, Z. (2004). Restoring public trust in the accounting profession by developing anti-fraud education, programs, and auditing. Managerial Auditing Journal, 19(1), 134-148.