Ethics In accounting

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Overall:  This project is to be based on a current business situation with an ethical concern or it can be on a current accounting policy change including the ethical component.

Source: The Research Presentation is based on a current ethical topic (within the past 24 months) in corporate accounting. Your choices are (a) Using one or more articles from Market Watch column from the Sunday “Money & Business” section of the New York Times by Gretchen Morgenson or another similar resource, as a starting point to prepare a presentation of the central issue, what went wrong, and the accounting implications.  Your presentation is to be prepared with a focus on ethics and although in most cases the company was not in violation of GAAP they have many times crossed the line for professional ethical behavior. Or (b) use the Chapter 15 supplement on proposed guidelines for leases to present on current research on the proposed changes, a teaching demonstration to your classmates, including the ethical differences embedded in both GAAP and IFRS.

Required: Pre-approval from me on your selection including the choice of a particular Market Watch article or the Leasing chapter supplement.  Once approved I will post the title of the article and that article is no longer available for another student to choose.


The objective is to present a current business situation to your classmates providing the following information where applicable, not all questions will apply to all situations:

  • Explanation of the problem, be very thorough, you probably will need to do more research than just reading the piece selected
  • What is the ethical concern?
  • What are the accounting issues and/or were the accountants involved? Were the accountants CPA?  If CPAs what was the ramification of being licensed and involved in this situation?
  • Detailed explanation of the industry in which the problem arose?
  • Is the ethical concern applicable to other industries?
  • Were there monetary damages?
  • Any career impact?
  • Identify the owners of the company or companies involved
  • Was the company or companies public or private?
  • What was the impact on the owners, the consumers, and environment?
  • What has happened subsequent to the article publication
  • What is being done to prevent this from happening again?
  • Has the accounting world responded? If so how and when.

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