Accounting Ethics

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paper will discuss the public perception of CPAs in today's society, pitfalls that they may encounter, methods to prevent some of these negative behaviors and consequences they may face should they fall short. Most "Who Do You Trust?" surveys rank politicians, lawyers and used car salesmen at the bottom and certified public accountants at the top. That is because the CPA profession has a squeaky clean image--anal-retentive little wimps who wear thick glasses and cannot get a date. CPAs are known and respected for their honesty. The profession that goes out of its way to project that image, and there is a certain amount of truth to it. Not all accountants are anal-retentive little wimps who cannot get a date. Many of them are quite articulate. Some are quite lovely, in some schools, more than half of the accounting majors are women. Also, not all CPAs are squeaky clean and respected for their honesty. Some are quite dishonest and are putting a black mark on the image of the entire profession. There is one area where the CPA profession has fallen short of protecting the public interest. The general duty that accountants owe to their clients and the other persons who are affected by their actions is to "exercise the skill and care of the ordinarily prudent accountant" in the same circumstances. Two elements compose the general duty of performance: skill and care. Another element and responsibility is owed to clients and other persons, that is that accountants should observe a standard of ethical or social responsibility. One set of difficulties concerns ethics education's ability to instill the chosen values and to make them stick after the educational process is completed. Instruction in accounting ethics is directed at people whose character-or lack there-of-has largely been formed by the time the instruction occurs. Although such instruction should increase the moral awareness of those who are already predisposed to listen, its effect on the basically...
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