Ethics and Compliance / Strategic Planning - Barnes and Noble Inc. Gary Myerscough, Donna Williams, Lilly Sirju, Shelae Watkins, Garry Frazier Fin 370
March 6, 2013
Ethics and Compliance/ Strategic Planning - Barnes and Noble Inc. Barnes & Noble Inc. is the world’s largest bookstore and a publicly traded company listed on the NYSE under the symbol "BKS." Barnes & Noble.com leverages the power of the Barnes & Noble brand to offer online customers the Web's premier destination for books, eBooks, magazines, toys & games, music, DVD and Blu-ray, video games, and related products and services” (Barnes & Noble’s, 2012). NOOK is one of the premier products that have been introduced that has increased sales to almost half a billion dollars and more than doubled over the past year. NOOK device unit sales increased approximately 45% over the previous year. The NOOK has quickly become the highest rated e-Reader in the market. The combined strength of the retail and digital businesses has given the company a unique competitive advantage that will generate more opportunities to extend their leadership as the e-content provider of choice going forward. In this paper Team B will study the ethics and compliance of Barnes & Noble Inc. After we obtain the company’s annual report and SEC filings for the past two years Team B will focus on the following: study the data provided in the report and address the ethical issues by reviewing the role of ethics and compliance in Barnes & Noble’s financial environment, explain the companies procedures that are in place to ensure ethical behavior is specified, give an explanation on financial markets and how it works in the United States, identify the processes that the company uses to abide by SEC regulations, evaluate the organizations financial performance for the past two years will be displayed by using financial ratios for each year, and provide a discussion of the two year trend for each ratio and the finding of the organization’s financial health will be provided. Barnes and Noble is a successful organization built around its establishment of a thorough ethical code of conduct. This holds all directors, officers, and employees of the organization directly accountable for ethical concerns that may arise or they may be a part of. These ethical codes of conduct and compliance are all stated and re-stated in the Annual report which is published at the end of the Fiscal year that ends in March every year. In compliance of proper ethical procedures its ethical code advises, “It is the policy of Barnes & Noble, Inc. to conduct its business with the highest level of integrity and ethical standards and to follow the law” (Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 2012). Barnes and Noble continually stresses the importance of reporting ethics and compliance issues promptly by all members of their corporation in an effort to maintain their reputation. The company oversight committee is set in place to ensure all employees adhere to all rules of policies and procedures to the highest level of integrity and ethical standards set forth by the Security and Exchange Commission. These codes apply to employees at every level which include directors, officers and floor staff. They cover a varying range of business practices which endeavors to meet every situation that may occur; but for anything out of context there are certain principle rules that must be followed.
In today’s society, with the increased instances of insider trading, Barnes and Noble maintains a strong policy on reporting of their annual performance which gauges their financial health. This is public knowledge and is usually published online. It gives brief details of the earnings and dividends, acquisitions of new products or services, any new contracts, changes of the board or management and any other relevant information that is viable as public knowledge....
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