Ethics Article Review

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Ethics Article Review
Ethical behavior applies to everyone in their personal and professional lives, ethics are essential for professionals such as accountants because people trust them with their finances, and livelihood. "Ethical values provide the foundation on which a civilized society exists. Without the foundation, civilization collapses" (Smith, para. 1, 2003). In private industry and Government ethical accounting is a requirement for any organization to be successful. If the numbers being input are incorrect or purposely misleading a company can go from greatness to failure in the blink of an eye. A company makes decisions based on the accounting data provided to them. If the accounting data is not correct the data can mislead the company's management and investors in making decisions that could negatively impact the company. In an article in the Washington Post Staff writer Dan Eggen wrote the "U.S Justice Department has opening criminal investigation into accounting practices of AOL Time Warner Inc" (Eggen, para. 1, 2002). During 2000 to 2002 AOL was accused of not properly annotating some of their revenue through a series of unconventional transactions. Two incidents brought attention to AOL from the SEC; first when AOL inherited an arbitration award from British Entertainment Company and settled the case by accepting an advertising deal instead; second incident was when AOL served as an advertising agent for eBay Inc and sold ads for eBay, but booked the revenue for the sale as its own. In both incidents, AOL has said that it accounted for these transactions properly and that their accounting practices conform to the accepted accounting principles. These types of accounting actions misled investors regarding AOL's financial condition and caused the stock price to drop 90 cents. To re-assure investors, AOL has restructured their Management and hired new-upper-level-management.

This article depicted how AOL did not properly implement...
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