When one takes an ethics course, several thoughts may come to mind. Some examples of these thoughts include, “This class is useless. How will it help me in my career? Why is this class even required?” However, I believe ethics is a very important topic, especially to myself because in less than two years, I will enter the business world as a professional accountant. As an accountant, we are responsible to report the financials of a company. Investors depend on these financials to decide which company or companies they will invest their hard earned money. If these financials were skewed by the accountants or upper management for merely personal benefit, an investor could be fooled into investing into a company who is about to declare bankruptcy or in serious financial trouble. The investor could then lose their hard earned money due to lack of ethics from the accounting department. This is why ethics means to me to always be honest and do the right thing even if it causes harm to yourself.
As history progressed, several ethical theories developed. These ethical theories include the Golden Rule, egoism, teleology (Utilitarianism, Consequentialism), deontology (Rights Principles, Kant’s Categorical Imperative), virtue ethics, and the Six Pillars of Character. I believe the ethical theory Utilitarianism fits me best. Utilitarianism’s ethical doctrine states, “Actions should be performed with the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people in mind.” Utilitarians consider the interests of all stakeholders affected by a decision and choose the decision that produces the “greatest good to the greatest number” of people. I consider myself a Utilitarian because I do exactly this: every decision I make that affects other people besides myself, I try to maximize the benefits while minimizing the harm. For example, if I had dinner plans with my friends, and we had trouble choosing a restaurant, instead of just
References: “Be a Big Sister – help a Little go a long way.” Big Brothers Big Sisters. 11 Oct. 2012 < http://www.bbbstx.org/site/c.4nIHIOOhG7IQE/b.6770619/k.62F5/Be_a_Big_Sister_8212help_a_Little_go_a_long_way.htm> “Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.” Ethics Standards Baord for Accountants. 2006. 6 Nov. 2012. < http://ethics.iit.edu/codes/code-of-ethics-for-professi-1.pdf> “Sarbanes-Oxley Act” Wikipedia. 7 Nov. 2012 < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarbanes% E2%80%93Oxley_Act>