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Later in the year, this same task force, including Cheney, recommended Enron as a company that was upstanding and endorses its many proposals. This further complicated the Enron image giving it further clout to conduct business in an unethical manner. By the end of this year, many of Enron's top executives, including Skilling, begin selling off their shares of company stock. This occurs before it is revealed to shareholders that Enron had a $618 million dollar loss in the fiscal year. This behavior, to a senior security specialist, represents severely unethical and corrupt decision making and helps to show prior knowledge of the Enron scandal involving Fastow's shell companies and the manipulation of the energy markets in their favor.
Within the company itself, it would have been rather clear to the security professional working there that the senior management knew things were amiss. A security professional could have been tipped…
NewsMax Wires. (2002). "Enron: A Pattern of Abuses?" Retrieved March 4, 2011, from http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/3/21/60605.shtml.
Open Secrets.org. (2002). Enron and Andersen. Washington, DC: The Center for Responsive
Politics. Retrieved October 27, 2005, from http://www.opensecrets.org/news/enron
Ortmeier, P.J. (2005). Security management: An introduction (2nd
Ethically, the actions of Enron management were reprehensible. From a deontological perspective, they broke laws. From a consequentialist perspective, their actions resulted in significant financial losses for millions of people, job losses for thousands and a loss of public faith in the financial system.
The Enron scandal is perhaps the most egregious misuse of data in recent years. Data was manipulated and/or hidden from those whose job was to analyze the data. ide-ranging and catastrophic losses resulted from this misuse. Had the data been presented factually and honestly, the analysis that flowed from it would have benefited Enron's internal and external stakeholders. The company may have suffered in the short-term but would have been able to survive in the long-term.
Thomas, Cathy Booth. (2002). Called to Account. Time Magazine. Retrieved March 27, 2009 from http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,263006,00.html
Houston Chronicle: The Fall of Enron. (2001-2009). Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 27, 2009…
Thomas, Cathy Booth. (2002). Called to Account. Time Magazine. Retrieved March 27, 2009 from http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,263006,00.html
Houston Chronicle: The Fall of Enron. (2001-2009). Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 27, 2009 from http://www.chron.com/news/specials/enron/
Wee, Heesun. (2001). Enron in Perfect Hindsight. Business Week. Retrieved March 27, 2009 from http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/dec2001/nf20011219_8118.htm
Enron could engage in their derivative trading strategy with no fear of government intervention because derivative trading was specifically exempted from government regulation. Due in part to a ruling by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) chairwoman, Wendy Graham, derivatives remained free of regulatory oversight. Ms. Graham, wife of Texas senator Phil Graham, made this ruling 5 weeks before resigning as chairwoman of the CFTC and joining the Enron oard of Directors in 1993.
Derivative accounting is further complicated because there is no consistent way to fairly report their value and risk in a company's financial report. In 1998 Rule No. 133, "Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities" was developed by the Financial Accounting Standards oard (FAS), an independent agency that sets guidelines for corporate auditors. Rule 133 contains more than 800 pages, which further complicates its adoption and consistent interpretation by various companies. SFAS No. 133 was subsequently…
Dettmer, Jamie, and John Berlau. "Requiem for Enron: There's Enough Blame to Go around for the Collapse of the Energy Giant From Executives to Auditors to Financial Analysts to Congress." Insight on the News 7 Jan. 2002: 12+. Questia. 10 Mar. 2005 .
Folbre, Nancy. "Blowing the Whistle on Poverty Policy." Review of Social Economy 61.4 (2003): 479+. Questia. 10 Mar. 2005 .
Gup, Benton E., ed. Too Big to Fail: Policies and Practices in Government Bailouts / . Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003.
Hartgraves, Ai L., and George J. Benston. "The Evolving Accounting Standards for Special Purpose Entities and Consolidations." Accounting Horizons 16.3 (2002): 245+..
One can not begin to trace the various lines and connections of the myriad of relationships, but the chart does fulfill the purpose of showing how much of a web this situation involved.
In the wake of the Enron scandal many questions have arisen centering on the strength of the U.S. Economy. Investors have questioned the accounting practices of many other firms; there has been significant fallout on the financial market; and considerable negative consequences in the market, the economy, the investment paradigm, and public confidence. All this contributed to a decline in the strength of the American economy, and certainly also had global repercussions.
The increased skepticism about accounting practices has forced many multi-national corporations all over the world to defend their financial statements. This loss of investor confidence has lead to significant changes in accounting standards and auditing practices. Corporate executives are now being required to be…
Bryce, Robert, (2002), Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron,
Public Affair Press.
Conroy, S. And T. Emerson. (2006). "Changing Ethical Attitudes: The Case of the Enron and ImClone Scandals." Social Science Quarterly.
Enron was one of the biggest business collapses, and one of the most egregious incidents during a period in the early 2000s when investor faith in the securities system was shaken by a series of scandals. The scandals varied in terms of their composition, but behind each of them was greed, the drive by senior management teams to defraud securities regulators and investors for their own gain. This paper will look at the Enron fraud in particular. This was probably the worst, for the bald-faced contempt that Enron management showed to securities regulators, and the biggest, as Enron was one of the stars of the stock market during its ride up, and crashed to worthlessness almost instantly.
As with most cases of stock market fraud, the key players were the senior executives. At Enron, the key players were Kenneth Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, Andrew Fastow and the accounting…
In his book A Conspiracy of Fools, Kurt Eichenwald details the Enron implosion, how it came about and how the main players were. For several years there had been suspicions about Enron's behavior -- most notably the company's inability to produce financial statements. The term scandal is broadly used to describe what happened to Enron, but as Eichenwald notes Enron was more a broad conspiracy to commit fraud. The company was allowed to get away with it for so long because it had become a Wall Street and political darling, an example of the effectiveness and power of market capitalism.
Enron was a company that engaged, theoretically, in energy trading. The company's business model has been described as "only vaguely understood even by its own competitors" and this is part of what had led to the belated nature of its downfall. Enron was always a house of cards, but…
Enron Virtue Ethics
The author of this report is to pick three virtues from a list and describe how they were or were not applied in a certain instances. The virtues that can be picked from are justice, fairness, integrity, courage, honor and truthfulness. For the three virtues that are chosen, there will be a definition of each one. After defining each virtue, there will be an application to the Enron case. Indeed, there was not a lot of virtue when it came to the Enron case. It started at the top with Lay, Skilling and Fastow and there were a lot of other people that were actively involved in the fraud and depravity that was under way. At the same time, the ethical malfeasance on the part of those three men and the others led to a lot of people being victimized before and after it all blew up…
BARRIONUEVO, A. (2006). Fastow Leaves Stand Insisting Lay and Skilling Knew - New York Times. Nytimes.com. Retrieved 26 October 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/14/business/businessspecial3/14enron.html
Business Insider. (2011). 10 YEARS LATER: What Happened To The Former Employees Of Enron? Business Insider. Retrieved 26 October 2015, from http://www.businessinsider.com/10-years-later-what-happened-to-the-former-employees-of-enron-2011-12
CNN. (2015). Enron Fast Facts - CNN.com. CNN. Retrieved 26 October 2015, from http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/02/us/enron-fast-facts/
Erb, M. (2011). Four Ways to Foster Fairness in the Workplace. Entrepreneur. Retrieved 26 October 2015, from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219505
The Enron/Arthur Andersen affair was perhaps the worst business and accounting scandal in the history of the United States. Indeed, Enron was engaging in a massive amount of malfeasance at all levels of the organization while Arthur Andersen, who was supposed to be an ethical and impartial third party, was at least partially in on the fraud. The circumstances were major as the power brokers for both firms paid dearly and many of the top Enron executives were convicted of crimes for their part in the fraud. Kenneth Lay only escaped sentencing because he died before the sentence could be announced. This report shall focus on some of the legal cases that happened in the aftermath of Enron including the obstruction of justice charges against Arthur Andersen and an appeal by Jeffrey Skilling, one of the convicted Enron executives. While the overall guilt of the parties involved were…
Abelson, Floyd. 'ENRON's COLLAPSE: THE AUDITOR; Audit Papers Usually Held For Years, Accountants Say'. Nytimes.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.
Carney, John. 'Why Jeff Skilling's Jail Sentence Got Downsized'. CNBC. N.p., 2013. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.
Grissom, Brandi. 'Errors In Judgment: The Consequences Of Prosecutorial Mistakes -- The Texas Tribune'. The Texas Tribune. N.p., 2015. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.
Mears, Bill. 'CNN.Com - Arthur Andersen Conviction Overturned - May 31, 2005'. Cnn.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.
SOC 205 – Society Law and Government 1
The Enron (Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling) Trial
Summary of the Trial
The Enron Trial dates as one of high profile case of corporate fraud in the US. Enron was founded in 1985 by Kenneth Lee Lay and was reported as the largest seller of Natural gas in North America by 2000. The American energy company recorded a spectacular rise with revenues increasing to over $100 billion in 2000 from $9 billion in 1995 and an increase of Enron’s stock prices recording a high of US$90.75 per share. Enron Corporation was ranked consistently as America's Most Innovative Company" between 1996 and 2001 by Fortune Magazine. The end of 2001 saw an unprecedented collapse of Enron’s stock price from US$90.75 per share to less than a dollar following an announced of $1billon loss in the first quarter of 2001 and resulting to declaration…
Rise and Fall of Enron
The meteoric rise and fall of Enron is one of the most notorious tales in the history of corporate America. Enron was the seventh-largest company in the United States in 2000 and 'Fortune' magazine had declared it as America's "most innovative company" for six straight years; its share price had climbed from $10 a share in 1991 to over $90 a share in August 2000 while its revenue jumped to more than $100 billion. ("Rise and Fall of an Energy Giant") No one could have predicted that before the end of the following year the "rising star" of corporate America would be filing for bankruptcy, shaking investor confidence to the core and signalling the end of the longest bull-run in the American stock exchange's history. The ramifications of the dramatic collapse still reverberate in global financial and energy markets as well the U.S. courts, where…
Fowler, Tom. "Enron's implosion was anything but sudden." Houston Chronicle. June 30, 2004. http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/special/enron/2655409
Lindstrom, Diane. "Enron Scandal." Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2005. June 13, 2005. http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_701610398/Enron_Scandal.html
'Rise and fall of an energy giant." BBC News. November 28, 2001. June 30, 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1681758.stm
Thomas, C. William. "The Rise and fall of Enron: when a company looks too good to be true, it usually is." Journal of Accountancy. (March / April 2002). June 13, 2005. http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/apr2002/thomas.htm
hen the mighty giant, Enron, fell, it fell hard and resulted in the largest bankruptcy in American history. orldwide focus then fell upon all who might have a possible answer for this event. Intense focus fell first upon Enron executives, and then, as the event evolved into what appears to be one of the most massive cases of corporate corruption ever known, others were brought into the spotlight.
According to a statement published on the Andersen website, the primary corporate auditors of Enron, the organization was founded in 1913, when "Arthur Andersen recruited the brightest students into his classes. Then, he turned them into 'thoroughly trained accountants' who were able to go beyond the obvious in their work by using unique methodologies to improve financial performance." It is, perhaps, those "unique methodologies" that took an unexpected turn at some point in the company's long and previously respected history,…
Andersen. "An 88-Year History of Looking Ahead." 2002. 2/5/02
Associated Press. "Former Enron Exec. Found Dead." Hays, Kristen. Jan. 25, 2002.
A.P. story picked up in Washington Post. 2/5/02.
That kind of behavior would be unacceptable today. Huge financial rewards accrued to him for being astute. Indirectly his success in the West focused more attention on the West and encouraged exploration and development by others. Astor retired from business as the richest person in the world, so he was very successful at monopolizing the fur trade. As many other wealthy people would follow his example, Astor became somewhat of a philanthropist in his later years. At least he showed some inclination toward social responsibility. Ironically the laws enacted to outlaw trusts have come to the forefront again with the battle between the Justice Department and Microsoft Corporation. In the same ironic way, ill Gates has emulated Astor through socially responsible acts such as supplying childhood illness vaccines to African countries.
It is interesting how the company operating in the more heavily regulated times is the company that exceeds all…
Altman, Daniel. "Enron Had More Than One Way to Disguise Rapid Rise in Debt." New York Times 17 Feb. 2002. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/17/business/17BANK.html .
Barrett, Ted. "Enron CEO warned about 'wave of accounting scandals'." CNN.com. 14 Jan. 2002. http://www.cnn.com/2002/LAW/01/14/enron.letter/
Norris, Floyd, David Barboza. "Lay Sold Shares for $100 Million." New York Times 16 Feb. 2002. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/16/business/16LAY.html .
Schwartz, John. "Explanations From One Former Enron Official, Silence From Another." New York Times 17 Feb. 2002. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/17/business/17UPDA.html .
party transactions reported on by Arthur Andersen & Co.
Related party transactions are essential transactions between closely related parties or individuals. Although not blatantly wrong in isolation, they can be particularly harmful if the practice is abused. The error with Enron's disclosure is that it was not clear enough. Investors, analysts and creditors could not properly ascertain the extent of the related party transactions at Enron. This was particularly true as the company did not want anyone to know about it. As a result the company was able to hid billions of dollars of off balance sheet debt from investors. This resulted in large, unknown exposures to investors. Arthur Anderson looked the other way in regards to informing investors about these exposures. They classified many of the entities that held the excessive amount of debt as special purpose entities. With the help of Arthur Anderson, Enron avoided consolidated the results…
Enron and isk Management
Enron is one company that did not practice good risk management following its reinvention of itself as a financial/energy trading giant. This paper will describe what happened to Enron and show how its problems could have been avoided using sound risk management regarding transparency and accountability.
Before Ken Lay gave Enron over to the new, "innovative" leaders Jeff Skilling and Andy Fastow, it had been a basic energy provider -- transparent and accountable. It had nothing to hide because it was doing nothing wrong and therefore it did not need opaque accounting practices. All that changed when Skilling came aboard and opened Lay's eyes to the "possibilities" afforded by mark-to-market accounting.
Enron's management team, led by Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, and Andy Fastow, was a dynamic, powerful force, with a strategy that few understood but which, according to the books, appeared to be making everyone money…
Eichenwald, K. (2005). Conspiracy of Fools. NY: Broadway Books.
Elkind, P., McLean, B. (2013). Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room. NY: Penguin.
business scandals in the early 2000s brought the issue of business ethics to the fore -- Enron, WorldCom and Tyco. The three share some similarities but they are different in other ways. Enron was simply a case of criminal activity. The company's management did not publish financial statements and when they did the statements completely misrepresented the company's financial position. This occurred on the direction of the senior management team, with the complicity of the auditor, Arthur Andersen. These managers were heavily invested in Enron and therefore had a strong personal interest in creating phony financial statements in order to pump up the company's stock price. The corruption at Enron ran deep within the company, such that the scandal all but wiped the company out.
The situation at WorldCom was that CEO Bernie Ebbers was a heavy owner of the company's shares. As such, he benefitted from implementing an aggressive…
PBS. (2013). Accounting fraud is business as usual at the Pentagon. PBS News Hour. Retrieved December 4, 2013 from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/11/accounting-fraud-is-business-as-usual-at-the-pentagon.html
Fannie Mae Scandal
Fannie Mae is the second largest government sponsored U.S. financial institution engaged in mortgage finance after Citigroup Inc. An investigation lasting for eight long months by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight or OFHEO revealed massive manipulation of earnings that have been engineered to fulfill Wall Street expectations and smooth volatility in earnings from one quarter to next quarter. The revelations deserve quick corrective action announced by the Director of the Agency in a letter to the Board members of Fannie Mae. The Securities and Exchange Commission is also inspecting the books of accounts of Fannie Mae. However, a statement issued by Fannie Mae states that the company has modified its employment contracts with the three top ranking executives i.e. The Chairman and Chief Executive, Franklin aines, Chief Operating Officer Daniel Mudd and Chief Financial Officer, Timothy Howard to make sure that in the event their…
Buchanan, Ian. "Christian Ethics in Business -- Asset or Liability." Retrieved from http://www.christianity.ca/faith/christian-living/2003/06.001.html
Accessed on 14 June, 2005
"Commentary on ECFA Standard 1" Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
Retrieved from http://www.ecfa.org/ContentEngine.aspx?Page=Comment1
Enron Corporation was the American company that specialized in supplying of energy.
Prior to its collapse in 2001, Enron was one of the most admired companies in the United States recording superior profits year by year, however, in 2001, series of the Enron questionable financial transactions were finally made opened when the company's stock price collapsed within one day. This study investigates several factors that led to the fall of Enron Corporation, the outcome of the investigation reveals that the top management did not promote culture of ethics within the organization. The paper reveals that the management was intoxicated with power manipulating information to their benefits. Moreover, top officials used power ruthlessly intimidating the subordinated. The company did not promote the culture of checks and balances by allowing only one entity performing both the functions of internal and external auditing. The study recommends that integration of ethical business is an…
Sarbanes-Oxley stipulates criminal and civil penalties for securities violations. Also, it mandates auditor independence from the interests of the firm, meaning that accountants cannot have a financial interest in the success or failure of the firm. Additionally, it mandates the certification of internal audit work by external auditors and mandates increased disclosure regarding executive compensation, insider trading and financial statements, in the interest of making more information public to investors. ("Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance," Technet 2005) Although the act is not a panacea, increased objectivity on the part of auditors and greater insistence on free and fair disclosure on the part of firms will hopefully ameliorate the some of the hiding of vital information that created the climate of secrecy within the firms of Enron and orldCom that helped give rise to the 2002 scandals.
Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance." (2005) Technet. Retrieved on 23 Oct 2005 at http://www.techlistings.net/xlist/tech/bizsoft/compliance/sox?id=1
Sarbanes-Oxley. (2002) Law retrieved…
Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance." (2005) Technet. Retrieved on 23 Oct 2005 at http://www.techlistings.net/xlist/tech/bizsoft/compliance/sox?id=1
Sarbanes-Oxley. (2002) Law retrieved by findlaw on 23 Oct 2005 at http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/gwbush/sarbanesoxley072302.pdf
ise and Fall of Enron
Enron grew to become one of United State's largest firms within a relatively short period of time. Having a global reach and employing approximately 25,000 employees at one time, the company was largely considered successful. However, this was not the case. In this text, I concern myself with the rise and fall of Enron. In so doing, I will explain amongst other things the history of Enron, the business it was involved in and the unethical behavior that led to its fall. Further, I will also take into consideration people implicated in the scandal and the legal actions that were taken against them.
Enron: An Overview
In basic terms, the 1985 merger between InterNorth and Huston Natural Gas informed the formation of Enron as we know it (Fernando, 2009). The merger which took place in Omaha, Nebraska was headed by Kenneth Lay who at the…
Fernando, A.C. (2009). Corporate Governance: Principles, Policies and Practices. Delhi: Pearson Education.
Sims, R.R. (2003). Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility: Why Giants Fall. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing.
Ethics and Financial Reporting
Role of ethics
In financial reporting, ethics assumes a key role. Shareholders must feel confident enough to trust a company with their money. Financial reporting is the representation of all information about a company's historical, current and projected health. In most cases, shareholders and investors depend on the financial statements available to make educated and informed decisions. o support entities maintain financial reporting and adhere to business regulations, shareholders tend to trust the current firms designed to supervise various aspects of the accounting field. he basic organizations include the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). In collaboration, these bodies guarantee financial reporting is reliable, available and fair to all investors.
he usefulness of ethics in financial reporting and business is to promote investor and public confidence in businesses. In the absence of a powerful…
To discuss ethics and financial reporting in a better way, we must look at some of the greatest scandals in a recent decade: the WorldCom and Enron. In the corporate world, Enron was a huge symbol of the widespread economic problem because its growth and collapse were unique. Formed in 19985, Enron was under the leadership of Ken Lay. In 1990, the company hired Andy Fastow and Jeffrey Skilling. In 2001, Enron was listed as one of Fortune's best admired firms, sending its stock prices up to at least $90 per share. Next was a $1 billion write-off that marked the onset of an SEC investigation. Soon, Enron was declared bankrupt, and the share price dropped to $26 per share. Enron was not alone so concerns could not dissipate quickly and confidence in capital markets plummeted. Before Enron, firms like Sunbeam and Waste Management acted as a warning of what happened to Enron. The closure of Enron led to constant disclosures. World.Com had been entangled in the practice of capitalizing expenses. On one hand, Enron was trying hard to outshine capital markets and accounting regulators while WorldCom was making accounting errors that even novice accounting learners would identify as inappropriate. For many, the most disturbing factor is the collaboration among top executives. Following these scandals, the then President Bush and Congress took a tough position in the version of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
Causes of Financial Reporting Problems
A confluence of situations opened eyes to the issues. The bursting of the economic bubble significantly contributed to the realization of the abuses. When all things seemed bright, no one questioned the financial reports of corporations. The new economic could not last forever. Therefore, when the economy changed, investors started to pose tough questions. Companies could not answer many of these questions; there were only cover-ups and denials. The world of accounting is facing a challenging period. The reputation that it acquired over decades has been lost in a day. People thought that accountants were individuals of great integrity occupying interesting positions. In today's situation, their occupation has become even more interesting but at the expense of their reputation for integrity. The profession must fight to restore public trust and maintain their belief in the significance of accounting.
These blackouts were orchestrated as away to drive up the prices of energy. Tapes of conversations were released to the public and the employee's are on tape mocking the people of California after they were at the root cause of the problem for consumers (Johnston, 2004).
Buchholtz, a. & Carroll, a, (2008) Business and Society, 7th ed. Cengage Learning
Harvard Law eview, (2003), the good, the bad, and their corporate codes of ethics:
Enron, Sarbanes-Oxley and the problems with legislating morality, the Harvard
Law eview Association, 116(7) 2123-2141
Johnston, L. (2004, June 2). Enron tapes anger lawmakers - CBS Evening News
etrieved November 15, 2010, from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/02/eveningnews/main620795.shtml
Sims, ., & Brinkmann (2003) Enron ethics (or culture matters more than codes), Journal of business ethics 45(3)
Thomas, W., (2002) the rise and fall of Enron: when a company looks to good to be true, it usually is. New York: andom…
Barret, M., (2004), Enron and Andersen-what went wrong and why similar audit failures can happen again, Foundation press
Barrionuevo, a. (2006, May 25). Enron chiefs guilty of fraud and conspiracy, New
York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2010, from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/25/business/25cnd-enron.html
Hasnas, J. (2004/2005), the significant meaninglessness of Arthur Andersen LLP v.
Particulars of Enron's Bankruptcy
There were a number of specific actions that led to Enron's bankruptcy. The majority of these pertain to a lack of accountability on the part of numerous people in key positions at this firm. The individual accountants at Arthur Andersen, the now defunct accounting firm that worked for this company, allowed Enron to utilize dubious accounting practices without trying to curtail them. Upper level management was guilty of allowing such accounting practices to take place, and of being too concerned with acquisition and spending to ensure the company was operating in accordance with the standards provided by the Securities Exchange Commission. Several fraudulent activities also contributed to Enron's bankruptcy. These include the insider trading that took place, the misrepresentation of the company as financially viable when it was on the verge of bankruptcy, and many others.
One of the primary accounting and auditing practices that eventually…
Cross, J.N., Krunkel, R.A. (n.d.). Andersen implosion over Enron: an analysis of the contagion effect on Fortune 500 firms. University of Wisconsin.
Emshwiller, J.R. (2001). Enron transaction with entity run by executive raises questions. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://faculty.msb.edu/bodurthj/teaching/ENRON/Enron%20Transaction%20With%20Entity%20Run%20by%20Executive%20Raises%20Questions.htm
Satyam -- The Enron of India," involves its former chairman amalinga aju, who admitted to years of corporate fraud in 2009. At the heart of this fraud was the way in which aju handled the accounting reports of the company. An initial attempt to cover up the company's debt culminated in the necessity to fabricate an increasing amount of revenue. This ultimately culminated in 94% of the company's assets and cash being fabricated.
This type of corporate fraud is an unfortunately frequent occurrence in the world of business today. The problem involved in fraudulent activity is that it cannot continue perpetually. Even years of fraud will eventually, of necessity, be revealed when accountants or interested parties notice a discrepancy between what is reported and the cash flow that is in fact available. Furthermore, revealed corporate fraud tends to tarnish a company's reputation in the eyes of the public it serves…
Anonymous Employee (2011). Handling Corporate Fraud. Retrieved from: http://www.anonymousemployee.com/csssite/sidelinks/corporate_fraud.php
Kaplan, J.A. (2010, Jun. 10). Why Corporate Fraud is On the Rise. Forbes. Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/2010/06/10/corporate-fraud-executive-compensation-personal-finance-risk-list-2-10-kaplan.html
Lefcourt, D. (2011, Sep. 13). A Corporate Culture of Fraud. OpEdNews. Retrieved from: http://www.opednews.com/articles/A-Corporate-Culture-of-Fr-by-Dave-Lefcourt-110913-182.html
McArdle, J. (2011, Jan 13). U.S. Par Police Chief -- Fired for Whistle-Blowing in 2004 -- Is Reinstated. New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/01/13/13greenwire-us-park-police-chief-fired-for-whistle-blowing-49802.html
United Airlines: Dragging Through Crisis Management
A recent scandal at United Airlines involving a routine overbooking of a flight and a non-routine removal of a passenger after none volunteered to de-board has thrust United into a rather negative spotlight. Its image has been tarred by widespread public disapproval thanks to social media, and the company's settlement with the customer out of court has done little to polish the airline's image. Its attempt to contain the crisis has proved futile and has raised the question: Are companies desensitizing customer service by relying too heavily on crisis management via public relations? From the look of it, it appears that United would do well to re-focus its attention on vitalizing its customer service approach instead of relying on its P team to clean up the mess. This paper will discuss the issue of United's crisis management approach and examine another possible approach that…
Gallo, C. (2013). How Southwest and Virgin America Win by Putting People Before
Profit. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2013/09/10/how-southwest-and-virgin-america-win-by-putting-people-before-profit/
Lamb, C. (2009). Essentials of Marketing. UK: Cengage.
Von Muhle, M., Ohno-Machado, L. (2012). Reviewing social media use by clinicians.
In the wake of scandals such as Enron and others, corporate fraud still appears to be prevalent across the business world. The reasons for this can be many and varied, although greed and a sense of hubris appear to be two of the common role players. In other cases, desperation could also be a factor, where a business is in danger of failing and its owners or managers see little choice but to cheat or sing with the boat. In many of the fraud cases, questions regarding regulation also abound, where regulatory authorities appear to be unable to either identify fraudulent activity or to sufficiently monitor the actions of those involved. This appears to be at least partly the case as far as ussell Wasendorf Sr. is concerned, who recently confessed to have committed fraud as the owner of his brokerage for 20 years Huffstutter and Polansek, 2012).…
Holton, C. (2009). Identifying disgruntled employee systems fraud risk through text mining: A simple solution for a multi-billion dollar problem. Decision Support Systems, Vol. 46. Retrieved from: ftp://188.8.131.52/gyliao/TODylan/Identifying%20disgruntled%20employee%20systems%20fraud%20risk%20through%20text%20mining-%20A%20simple%20solution%20for%20a%20multi-billion%20dollar%20problem.pdf
Huffstutter, P.J. And Polansek, T. (2012, Jul 13). With ego too big to fail, Iowa broker admits 20-year fraud. Reuters. Retrieved from: http://news.yahoo.com/pfgbest-ceo-arrested-iowa-brokerage-fails-181115538 -- sector.html
Johnson, S.A., Ryan, H.E., and Tian, Y.S. (2008, Feb 29). Managerial Incentives and Corporate Fraud: The Sources of Incentives Matter. Retrieved from: http://www2.wu-wien.ac.at/rof/papers/pdf/Johnson-Ryan-Tian_Managerial%20Incentives%20and%20Corporate%20Fraud.pdf
Langevoort, D.C. (2007). On Leaving Corporate Executives "Naked, Homeless and Without Wheels": Corporate Fraud, Equitable Remedies, and the Debate Over Entity vs. Individual Liability. Georgetown Law; The Scholarly Commons. Retrieved from: http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1453&context=facpub&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.co.za%2Fscholar%3Fhl%3Den%26q%3Dcontrols%2Bon%2Bcorporate%2Bfraud%26btnG%3D%26as_sdt%3D1%252C5%26as_sdtp%3D#search=%22controls%20corporate%20fraud%22
This quotation shows how arbitrary MTM can be. Simply by terming Enron's cash shortage a sa minority interest as opposed to the proper term for it, debt, Enron was able to manipulate MTM to prevent such a sizeable loss from appearing on its balance sheet. Moreover, MTM's role in this transaction allowed Enron to repair its problem of a cash flow shortage since it credited $500 million via its sale of Treasury securities. The relative short duration in which Enron was able to take out a loan and repay it indicates how effective MTM was in providing Enron a favorable balance sheet, and in singled-handedly dancing around the reality of its shortages. Additionally, it also kept others (shareholders, stakeholders, not to mention its hard working employees) to know how tenuous an economic position the company was actually in.
In discussing Enron's MTM approach to accounting and the considerable role…
Batson, N. (2003). "Second interim report of Neal Batson, court appointed examiner." Enron Corp et al., v. Debtors.
Monks, R.G., Minnow, N. (2008). Corporate Governance. New Jersey: Blackwell Publishers. Retrieved from http://www.ragm.com/enron/accounting.html
Valdmanis, T. (2008). "Senate report blasts SEC's Enron oversight." USA Today. Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/banking/2002-10-06-sec_x.htm
blow the whistle" on what you heard in the garden? If so, how will you blow the whistle? If you decide to blow the whistle, what are your reasons for doing so? Your discussion should reflect knowledge of what Boatright says about issues, problems and justifications for whistle-blowing. Also, in discussing the answers to these questions you should include the following: 1) you should evaluate real and potential conflicts of interests that confront you in your decision 2) you should explain how your reasoning is consistent or inconsistent with the three following moral theories: Kantian moral theory, utilitarian moral theory and virtue theory.
Our MBA is not really aware of what is going on; all he has is assumptions, guesses. He has no actual proof. In the first case, he has had suspicions of several transactions -- their accounting practices seem suspect - and he has pointed out…
"Behind the Enron Scandal - Multiple Articles." TIME 2002. 27 Apr. 2006 .
"BBC NEWS | Business | Enron Scandal At-a-Glance." BBC News. 22 Aug. 2002. The BBC. 27 Apr. 2006 .
"Enron Scandal - Information on Enron." Securities Fraud Fyi. 2003. 27 Apr. 2006 .
Hays, Kristin. "Prosecutor Questions Lay At Enron Trial." Business Week 27 Apr. 2006. 27 Apr. 2006
4. If Enron shareholders had been fully aware of the LJM partnership agreement, do you believe they would have been willing to continue investing in Enron?
LJM was created by Fastow allegedly to buy poorly performing Enron assets, but in reality to hide debt and inflate profits of Enron in order to leverage its stock price. It is almost certain that Enron shareholders would have ceased to continue investing in Enron had they been aware of the full significance of LJM.
LJM, in its essence, entailed that Enron was far below that which it's displayed to the public and that likely its debts were more massive and its profits far less than those claimed. Investors, obviously, would not want to invest in a poorly performing company.
Even if Enron's profits were higher and debts lower than those that the company tried to conceal, the very fact that Enron was not…
Arping, H., & Sautner, B. (2010). "The Effect of Corporate Governance Regulation on Transparency: Evidence from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002." Papers.ssrn.com. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1561619 . Retrieved 5/11/2012
Environment and Society. (2007)"Environment and Society -- Shell General Business Principles." Shell International B.V.
Fombrun, C. & Foss, C. 2004, 'Business ethics corporate response'. Corporate Reputation Review, 7, pp.284 -- 288
Healy, Paul M. & Krishna G. Palepu (Spring 2003). "The Fall of Enron" (PDF). Journal of Economic Perspectives 17 (2): 15.
Improvements in Integrity, Financial Accountability, Ethical Conduct and Corporate Responsibilities under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
e passed Sarbanes-Oxley in the wake of the Enron scandal to try to root out financial and accounting irregularities. How could similar irregularities occur at Lehman Brothers? History has a way of constantly repeating itself. -- Joseph Grant 2010
The high-profile corporate shenanigans by Enron and Lehman Brothers have made it clear that tough legislation was needed to compel Americans businesses to clean up their financial acts. Indeed, in response to Enron's late 2001 bankruptcy, Congress enacted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 but the Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy in late 2008 made it clear that there was still a problem in some sectors of American business. This paper provides a review of the relevant literature to determine how the integrity of corporate finance, ethics, and other responsibilities have improved, what the corporate finance industry culture…
Bierstaker, James, Marshall, Kenneth K. And Greenwald, Jonathan. (2010, December).
"Strengthen Your Core: Are You Getting the Most from Your Compliance, Operations,
Risk, and Enterprise Support Functions?" Strategic Finance 92(6): 35-39.
Carter, Charles C. (2011, May 1). "Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy." Journal of Real Estate Literature 9(2): 492-499.
If this policy was in place at the time of the Enron scandal, Anderson may not have had any incentive to lie on behalf of Enron. Another extremely important rule that would have had an impact upon Enron is the rotation rule. The lead and concurrent audit partners cannot stay on a particular public company for more than five years, they must continually rotate. Had this rule been in place, Arthur Anderson himself who sat twenty years on Enron would not have had the opportunity to conduct deceit and destroy documentation.
The primary aspect of OX in application to preventing scandals such as Enron is provide much more repercussions for corporate finance abuse and more importantly, for greater responsibility for all parties involved in audits. The audit committee of all public companies are now required to overview all audits that are being conducted. In addition, CEOs and CFOs of public…
SOX would have had a major impact upon Enron because it provides many filters in which to catch corporate finance disclosure and duplicity. The creation of a public company accounting oversight board was the first major step of SOX. This board is designed to preventing auditing abuses. The board registers, oversees, investigates and disciplines all accounting firms that auditing public companies. As a result, it provided a level of supervision on accounting firms that was not there at the outset. In addition auditing standards were established across the board which put much more accountability in the hand of auditors and held them accountable to be checked by a national level committee. One of the key reasons that the Enron scandal occurred is because the accounting firm, Arthur Anderson, earned more from Enron in consulting services than in auditing. Therefore they were willing to compromise their integrity in order to preserve their consulting business. The new policy prohibits auditors from "contemporaneously" providing companies with both auditing and specific types of consulting services. If this policy was in place at the time of the Enron scandal, Anderson may not have had any incentive to lie on behalf of Enron. Another extremely important rule that would have had an impact upon Enron is the rotation rule. The lead and concurrent audit partners cannot stay on a particular public company for more than five years, they must continually rotate. Had this rule been in place, Arthur Anderson himself who sat twenty years on Enron would not have had the opportunity to conduct deceit and destroy documentation.
The primary aspect of SOX in application to preventing scandals such as Enron is provide much more repercussions for corporate finance abuse and more importantly, for greater responsibility for all parties involved in audits. The audit committee of all public companies are now required to overview all audits that are being conducted. In addition, CEOs and CFOs of public companies are required to personally certify accuracy for their financial reports. This holds them accountable and provides significant penalties for false certifications. These safeguards, if they were in place with Enron would have put much more reasonability and consequences upon the actions of the CEO and CFO, thus possibly deterring their actions. In general the criminal punishments associated with obstruction of justice and securities fraud. As a result, the deterrents in place may have well have deterred Enron, Anderson and all other parties involved to reconsider their actions.
The Role of Empirical Evidence in Evaluating the Wisdom of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 40 University of San Francisco Law Review 823-844 (2006) http://eprints.law.duke.edu/archive/00000840/" Public and Private Enforcement of the Securities Laws: Have Things Changed Since Enron?, 80 Notre Dame Law Review 893-907 (2005) (with Randall S. Thomas)
Arthur Anderson has collapsed after a guilty verdict resulting from the destruction of incriminating documents. The accounting industry was also directly affected in terms of its standards and procedures. There are hundreds of firms with methods to keep debts away from headline figures.
The president passed a bill that aimed at discouraging corporate fraud, while also ordering a review of the pension regulations at the country. This is the result of the losses suffered by pension holding employees at Enron. Other political reforms include how business funds are invested in political campaigning, the influence of energy companies on the energy policy in the United tates, the conflict of interest between consultancy and auditing, and regulations on financial derivative trading.
Despite his personal friendship with Lay, President Bush was quick to distance himself from Enron as soon as the scandal came to light.
The government could however be implicated in the…
BBC News. (2002, Aug 22). Enron scandal at-a-glance. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1780075.stm
Thomas, Cathy Booth. (2002, Jun 18). Called to Account. Time.
" hile there are factors like peer pressure and authority that come into play, some research claims to have isolated significant features of an individual's character that make them more likely to commit acts of fraud, bribery and falsification in the corporate context (27, 2009). For example, those people with "high levels of ambition were more likely to transgress moral codes, competitively stab colleagues in the back and make dubious decisions relating to asset-stripping, disinvestment, and so on" (27, 2009).
Trevino's (1986) work is relevant when it comes to understanding individuals and corruption. There are a couple questions regarding moral personality that come up: first of all, whether or not a person sees an event or issue as a moral problem; the second is how they decide to act in relation to that problem. Kohlberg's theory of cognitive moral development emphasizes the cognitive or reasoning aspect of moral-decision making (604,…
Bratsis, Peter. The Construction of Corruption, or Rules of Separation and Illusions of Purity in Bourgeois Societies. Social Texts, 21(4), 9-33.
Burke, Ronald J. & Cooper, Cary L. Research Companion to Corruption in Organizations
(New Horizons in Management). Edward Elgar Publishers, 2009.
Fleming, Peter. & Zyglodopoulos, Stelios C. Charting Corporate Corruption: Agency,
Standard to most businesses is the idea that it is management's only responsibility in an organization to generate profits -- the best possible fiscal return for stakeholders. This template argues that the fiscal responsibility of the business is paramount, but that managers may not be the right level to handle a morally suspect global project. Additionally, focusing too farm on moral issues and too little on profit (Savage and McEltory, 2005). The entire purpose of doing business is to allow the organization to grow and evolve. Business would not flourish if there were no profitable advantages for both workers and the organization. A contrary view is called the "socio-economic" view of foreign trade. This view argues that organizations, who wish to compete and make a profit, must be amenable to societal changes. Simply looking at profit does not tell the entire story and is a rather myopic view…
Commission Adopts Rules Strengthening Auditor Independence. (September 2003). U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved from: http://www.sec.gov / news/press/2003-9.htm
Corporate Conduct. (2002, July 31). Retrieved from The New York Times: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C01E0D91E38F932A05754C0A9649C8B63
Bryce, Robert, (2002), Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron, Washington, DC: Public Affairs.
Bumiller, E. (2002, July 31). Corporate Conduct: The President. Retrieved July 2010, from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/31/business/corporate-conduct-the-president-bush-signs-bill-aimed-at-fraud-in-corporations.htmlPages / sec50.aspx
Enron Scandal's Fraud
One of the more salient examples of the corruption type known as fraud took place in the initial years of the 20th century. It involved the multiple conglomerate entity known as Enron, which primarily operated in the natural resources and energy vertical. Enron engaged in fraud in many different levels. Perhaps the most noticeable of these applied to its book-keeping practices. Enron relied on a host of fraudulent accounting activities to widen its profit margins and to hide its losses. Subsequently, the vast majority of people that competed with, invested in, and worked for this company thought it was much more financially viable than it actually was. Some of these accounting practices included an inflated usage of marked to market accounting, which the company had approved for one specific type of asset management and regularly deployed for others (and throughout its accounting areas in general) (Norris and…
Norris, Floyd and Eichenwald, Kurt. "Enron's Many Strands: The Accounting; Fuzzy Rules of Accounting and Enron." www.nytimes.com. 2002. Web. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/30/business/enron-s-many-strands-the-accounting-fuzzy-rules-of-accounting-and-enron.html
Watkins, Thayer. "The Rise and Fall of Enron." www.sjsu.edu / No Date. Web. http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/enron.htm#OFFBALANCE
Ethics in esearch
For organizations of all types, the last three decades have been crucial in changing the manner in which organizations interact with each other, stakeholders, the government, and themselves. Most of these changes occurred because of the evolution of globalization, which after the Cold War, increased cooperation between nations and regions while, at the same time, increased stakeholder expectations, opened hundreds of new markets, and now requires that organizations operate on a new level. Particularly after the Enron scandal, stakeholders expect more transparency and honesty from organizations. In fact, a recent survey found that 74% want to know more about the ethical stance and nature of a company prior to purchasing from them. At the same time, 92% of FTSE 100 companies provide no metrics, benchmarks, or quantitative measurements within their annual report (Suter, 2012).
Because of advances in technology and communication, this has also bled over into…
Gutman and Thompson. (2004). Why Deliberative Democracy. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.
Leedy, P., & Ormrod, J. (2009). Practical Research: PLanning and Design. New York: Prentice Hall.
Robson, C. (2011). Real World Research: A Resource for Users of Social Research Methods in Applied Settings. New York: Wiley.
SA Health Info. (2010, April). Ethics issues in qualitative research. Retrieved from sahealthinfo.org: http://www.sahealthinfo.org/ethics/ethicsqualitative.htm
Bush, who declared that corporations which jeopardized the investments and jobs of millions of individuals should pay their dues. The United States Senate and the House of epresentatives also became involved and proposed numerous modifications.
The pillar of the changes occurred in financial reporting after the accounting scandals is based on increased transparency and more support in conducting audit operations. The XBL system for instance will allow the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct analyses in a more efficient manner. All efforts to improve the financial reporting system have been condensed into the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. It represents the most important regulatory act of the past 70 years and it is applicable all around the world; it addresses issues that refer to all players in the corporate reporting chain.
Bautista, L.., 2004, Implications and Effects of Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Securities and Exchange Commission, etrieved at http://www.adbi.org/conf-seminar-papers/2006/03/30/1739.implications.effects.sarbanesoxley/onMarch 13, 2009
Cooper, C., 2007,…
Bautista, L.R., 2004, Implications and Effects of Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Securities and Exchange Commission, Retrieved at http://www.adbi.org/conf-seminar-papers/2006/03/30/1739.implications.effects.sarbanesoxley/onMarch 13, 2009
Cooper, C., 2007, Extraordinary Circumstances: The Journey of a Corporate Whistleblower, John Wiley and Sons
Lee, H., Effects of Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and SEC Final Rulings on Auditor Independence, SUNY Institute of Technology, Retrieved at http://www.sba.muohio.edu/abas/2003/vancouver/lee_auditor%20independence.pdfonMarch 13, 2009
Malpass, a., June 2, 2002, hp_:I/help animals.net/news artic/91719, Quoted by Hannon
In developing countries, consumers are more affected for two reasons. One is that consumers are more likely to buy raw ingredients. ithout manufacturing entities to absorb some of the commodity price increases, consumers are left to absorb almost all of the increase (Ibid.). As a result, food prices have increased more in the developing world than in the developed world. Additionally, consumers in these countries already expend a significantly higher percentage of their income on food than do consumers in estern nations. Thus, demand for food in the developing world is price elastic and consumers suffer because they are unable to meet their food needs.
In the developed world, increased food prices suppress demand in other sectors of the economy, which can cause minor shocks in employment and investment in some businesses and industries. In the developing world, food price shocks can result in starvation and civil unrest. The recent…
Lapidos, Juliet. (2008) "Why are Global Food Prices Soaring?" Slate. Retrieved December 4, 2008 at http://www.slate.com/id/2187882/
Wiewel, Wim & Persky, Joseph. (2002) Suburban Sprawl M.E. Sharpe, Armonk NY, 2002.
Barnier, Michael. (2008) "Europe is Key to Solving Food Crisis" Tehran Times. Retrieved December 4, 2008 at http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=184060
Clayton, Mark. (2008) "As Global Food Costs Rise, are Biofuels to Blame?" Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved December 4, 2008 at http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0128/p03s03-usec.html
Employees are being rewarded for their honesty, and managers continue to encourage communication between supervisors and subordinates. Management is also looking for ways to encourage employees to tell the truth about other employees who may be involved in something dishonest or illegal (Jones, 1982). Not all employees will take advantage of this, of course, because some still believe that they will face punishment for being a 'whistle-blower', but there are laws in place now to protect the rights of employees who blow the whistle on other employees or their employers.
Employee rights have become increasing important over the last 20 years, and this is another area in which Enron had difficulties. Those people who advocate employee rights make two different arguments. The first argument is that tougher laws and regulations are needed to ensure that employees get the rights that they deserve. It cannot be left up to the companies…
Bernstein, S. (2000). "Shell in Nigeria." Business Students Focus on Ethics. Eds. Ryan, Leo V., Wojciech W. Gasparski, & Georges Enderle. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.
Donaldson, T. & Gini, a.R. (1984). Case Studies in Business Ethics. 2nd ed. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Garrett, T.M., and Klonoski, R.J. (1986). Business Ethics 2nd ed. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Goodpaster, K.E. (1984). Ethics in Management. Boston: Harvard Business School.
Premeaux's investigation into ethics and business behavior resulted in four categories that can lead to ethical problems: a) coercion and control (the use of threats or extortion to force a manager to make a certain decision); b) conflict of interest (a manager has more than one interest and if he pursues both, harm may come to the company); c) physical environment (this relates to conflict of interest that can harm the environment); and d) personal integrity (making a decision based on one's own needs can raise a red flag in terms of right and wrong even if the law doesn't specifically spell out a guideline to follow) (16).
In a survey of managers, Premeaux received 413 questionnaires to test ethical responses. The results of those surveys (there is not enough room in this paper to report appropriate data) showed that managers have "…a heightened sense of ethical awareness with most…
Bringinshaw, John. (2006). Addressing Possible Conflicts of Ethical Management. Interbeing,
Minkes, a.L., Small, M.W., and Chatterjee, S.R. (1999). Leadership and Business Ethics: Does
It Matter? Implications for Management. Journal of Business Ethics, 20(4), 327-335.
Values and Morals in the Accounting Industry
The important questions to be addressed are taken from the "…business ethics/corporate social responsibility literature, oriented towards business enterprises but also of relevance to professional bodies: whether being ethical 'pays' in financial terms; and whether formal codes are useful in promoting ethical behavior…" (Cowton, 2009, p. 177).
Accountants are charged with carrying out ethical and moral decisions in their everyday work, but judging from some of the scandals in recent years (Enron, orldCom, the Anderson Accountancy, etc.) not all accountants are up to speed with those ethical and moral decisions. This paper reviews the judgments that accountants should be making based on morality and ethical values, whether the accountant is working for a multinational corporation or for a small business with only half a dozen employees.
Accounting Students and Moral Decision-Making
Deborah Leitsch writes in the Journal of Business Ethics that auditors are…
Brown-Liburd, Helen L., and Porco, Barbara M. (2011). It's What's Outside that Counts:
Do Extracurricular Experiences Affect the Cognitive Moral Development of Undergraduate Accounting Students? Issues in Accounting Education, 26(2), 439-454.
Cooper, Barry J., Leung, Philomena, Dellaportas, Steven, Jackling, Beverley, and Wong,
Grace. (2008). Ethics Education for Accounting Students -- a Toolkit Approach.
The proclivity to pass blame between organizational members also suggest an internal cultural shortcoming rooted in an unwillingness to take responsibility for planning failures. This is an unnecessary conflict which is derived from the onus on planning failure and the clear incapacity of the organization to rebound in its wake. This perspective and reality go hand in hand.
So may we observe this from an article regarding Toyota's ongoing struggles and its contingency efforts at damage control. Such a crisis can surely illuminate the behaviors that may be demanded in the face of unexpected planning failures. According to Takahashi (2010), "Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will temporarily halt production at its factories in France and the U.K. For a total of at least 12 days from late March, due to weaker demand for its vehicles in the region after a series of global safety recalls. The production suspension coincides…
BBC News. (2002). Enron Scandal at-a-glance. British Broadcasting Company.
Online at .
Emshwiller, J.R. & Bravin, J. (2010). Justices to Weigh Venue in Skilling Case. Wall Street Journal. Online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703940704575089781881501578.html?KEYWORDS=enron
Pierce, J. & Robinson, R. (2009). Strategic Management, 11th Edition. McGraw-Hill/Irwin Press.
Greedy Individuals Have a Survival of the Fittest Mentality?
It is first necessary to discuss where the saying "survival of the fittest" comes from and then apply it to the concept of greed. Charles Darwin was a keen observer and naturalist who took a voyage on the Beagle to try and discover phenomena that had escaped the rest of the world. His voyage landed him, eventually, on the Galapagos Islands where he made a number of discoveries among which was the beginnings of his agreement with others who had begun to espouse that plants and animals had not been created within a six day period a mere six to ten thousand years previous, but that all life on Earth had gradually emerged via evolution of species. During the following years he discovered one trait in the animal kingdom which has now migrated to humans and their actions also -- that…
Gini, A. (2004). Business, ethics, and leadership in a post Enron era. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 11(1), 9-17.
Heimburger, M.Y. (2009). Finding beauty in a broken world. Cithara, 48(2), 40-41.
McGrath, A. (1997). Survival of the fittest?. Journal of Australian Studies, 52, 161-164.
Muratova, O. (2007). Vassa Zheleznova at the Horizon Theatre Rep: Miracle on a small stage. Slavic and East European Performance, 27(2), 79-82.
Ethical behavior of a person or a corporation greatly affects the stakeholders with which that person is involved. Often, people and companies take serious consideration when it comes to those stakeholders, and they work to take good care of the people who are involved with them (Keller, 2002). There have been cases, though, where ethical behavior has been ignored in the name of profit. Eventually, most companies and people who ignore their ethics are caught and punished, but not before they end up harming the financial and emotional lives of many of their stakeholders. Plato once said that the nature and the origin of justice was that men who were capable of doing wrong to other people would often do so. He also said that men who did not have enough strength to keep themselves from being harmed by others would not do harm to other people.
In other words,…
Anderson, A.A. (1999). Downsizing and the Meaning of Work. Babson College Business Ethics Program.
Keller, K.W. (2002). What does a business owe the community? The Signal.
In reality, entire segments of the value chains of these companies, and a core part of how they promised to deliver value, was erroneous or only partially true. After the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act and full auditing of the Enron finances it became clear that there were multiple sets of financial records, each designed for a specific audience (Petrick, Scherer, 2003). What had happened is that the undefined, ambiguous and difficult-to-audit areas of the value chain, left unchecked, began to gravitate into unethical practices and reporting to further support the unrealistic projections of profit (Petrick, Scherer, 2003). The same dynamic occurred at Tyco, MCI and others. Arthur Anderson was responsible for the auditing of the Enron financials and was guilty by association, perpetuating the fraud involved in the massive operations underway (Petrick, Scherer, 2003).
In analyzing these companies who rise and fall so quickly, key lessons can…
Petrick, J.A., & Scherer, R.F. (2003). The Enron scandal and the neglect of management integrity capacity. American Journal of Business, 18(1), 37-49.
Sherman, W.S., & Chambers, V. (2009). SOX as safeguard and signal: The impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley act of 2002 on U.S. corporations choice to list abroad. Multinational Business Review, 17(3), 163-179.
Congressional Committee identified for the recent financial crisis.
It would be nearly impossible to assess the financial crisis from 2006 to 2010, which largely began in the United States and reverberated around the world, without acknowledging the complicity of credit agencies. This fact is widely acknowledged by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which "spreads the blame widely to regulators, politicians, financial firms and credit rating agencies" (O'Donnell, 2011). The role that crediting agencies played in the aforementioned fiscal crisis was substantial -- they egregiously relaxed their standards and issued credit and credit products (such as ratings of an individual's credit) to those who previously, they would not have. Moreover, it is noteworthy that this trend in which the attaining of credit and credit products became easier and easier to access began well before the actual crisis. The following quotation alludes to this fact. "It is generally accepted that credit standards…
Jickling, M. (2010). Causes of the financial crisis. Congressional Research Service.
Levin, C. (2011). Wall street and the financial crisis: anatomy of a financial collapse. Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
O'Donnell, A. (2011). Congressional Committee on financial crisis goes light on government blame. Insurance & Technology. Retrieved from http://www.insurancetech.com/regulation/congressional-committee-on-financial-cri/229100320
Corporate Social esponsibility
The purpose of this case study is close synopsis of the Enron case and its impact on consumers and corporate business practices alike. Prior to its collapse Enron had been named one of America's top 10 admired corporations, and its boards "was acclaimed one of the U.S.' best five" (eed, 2004). Throughout the 1990s the company experienced tremendous growth and profits exceeding $180 billion, employing more than 30,000 people worldwide (eed, 2004).
Enron collapsed however and went bankrupt, a process that "outraged and impacted stakeholders tremendously and resulted in numerous congressional investigations" (eed, 2004). The "implosion" of the company "wreaked havoc on accounting like no other case in American history; the collapse of the system called into question the adequacy of U.S. disclosure practices and the integrity of independent audit processes" (Thomas, 2002).
Overview of the Case
In October of 2001 Enron executives announced they were taking…
Berlau, John; Spun, Brandon. (2002). "Is Big business ethically bankrupt? Boom in business ethics courses is likely in the wake of the Enron scandal, but critics say these classes need to focus on moral rather than political corrected ness." Insight on the News, Vol. 18, Issue 10, p. 16
Farrell, G. (2002). "Impact to reverberate from Wall Street to D.C." USA Today. October 10, 2004, http://www.usatoday.com/money/energy/enron/2002-06-17-andersen.htm
Hoops, J. (2004). "Enron revisited: where are we today?" The Trusted Professional,
October 11, 2004,
business ethics in the 21st century. Business ethics are under increased scrutiny today, and companies like Enron and WorldCom redefine corporate business ethics, lack of ethics, and their punishments when greed prevails over ethics. Business ethics today may be in question in many areas, but the Enron scandal and others have caused people to take a closer look at ethics in business and create new ways to thrive in business without suspending business ethics.
To say that every business in America was ethically corrupt after the Enron scandal would be as far from the truth as saying that every business in America straightened up their ethics after the Enron scandal broke. There will always be unethical businesses in America, and there will always be highly ethical businesses. However, the evidence suggests that in order for businesses to survive, thrive, and grow, they must inherently be corrupt. One ethics expert states…
Berlau, J., & Spun, B. (2002, March 18). Is big business ethically bankrupt? A boom in business-ethics courses is likely in the wake of the Enron scandal, but critics say these classes need to focus on moral rather than political, correctness. Insight on the News, 18, 16+.
Hunkin, J.S. (2002, September/October). Ethics in business and everyday life. Canadian Speeches, 16, 64+.
Another challenge facing the industry today is the important legal issues that surround the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (Koehn & Del Vecchio, 2004). One of these is the fact that the process of due diligence practiced by many companies is now taking much longer (Koehn & Del Vecchio, 2004). There is a higher degree of caution than was previously utilized and because of this many companies are discovering information that would have gone unnoticed before the Act was passed. This is, however, not the only legal issue that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has caused (Koehn & Del Vecchio, 2004). Another concern is that accountants and attorneys could now be required to report the known wrongdoings of corporations that they have business with to authorities.
Since lawyers are now required to disclose these types of issues, the attorney-client privilege has been compromised by this Act (Koehn & Del Vecchio, 2004). However, the Act was…
Bradley, C.F. (1994). An empirical investigation of factors affecting corporate tax compliance behavior. Ph.D. dissertation, the University of Alabama.
Koehn, J.L. & Del Vecchio, S.C. (2004). Ripple effects of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The CPA Journal: 36-40.
Roper, J.C. (2006). Expert backs Enron's accounting practices. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved from http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3839212.html .
The political pressure of the past several years following the dot.com bubble and the collapse of several major companies created a need for new securities legislation, which culminated last year in the Sarbanes-Oxley Investor Protection Act, which establishes new guidelines for the securities industry. Initially a Democratic brainchild, the act became favored by epublicans in the House when it was realized that such adjustments would be of great benefit to shareholder value in that they enhanced general financial stability. This is the most prominent piece of financial legislation since the establishment of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the early 1930's. The most widely recognized feature of the new legislation, which was introduced in 1992, is that board members are held personally and criminally liable for the accounting practices that the company employees. This act also establishes guidelines as to the coverage of securities by sell-side analysts who face…
Resources and Authority
Studies and Reports
Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability
White Collar Crime Penalty Enhancements
Corporate Tax Returns
What is financial fraud?
Effect on Economy
Are we Protected?
Identity Theft in Business
Loss Prevention Planning and Strategies
Financial fraud was an unfamiliar notion prior to the 2000's, but has become a controversial and familiar term due to economic woes, public disapproval and revamped financial regulations. Light was shed on some of America's top organizations intentionally changing their accounting books to look more attractive to investors than they were in actuality. Institutions and/or ranking officials at institutions were falsely publishing financial statements with fabricated values and profits presenting the illusion that investments with these entities were producing and would continue to produce consistent returns. In addition to recurring fraudulent activity, new highs for deposits of fraudulent checks were recorded by banks nationwide.
Government agencies aim to set regulations, enforce regulations, and protect American businesses and consumers from fraudulent activity. Laws are…
Elliott, T.L. (2013). Business ethics perspectives: Faculty plagiarism and fraud. Journal of Business Ethics, 112(2), 91-99.
Laufer, D. (2011). Small business entrepreneurs: A focus on fraud risk and prevention. American Journal of Economics and Business Administration, 3(2), 401-404.
Nikitkov, A. & . (2008). Online auction fraud: Ethical perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 79(3), 235-244.
Yallapragada, R.R. (2013). Accounting fraud, and white-collar crimes in the United States. Journal of Business Case Studies, 8(2), 187.
The statute of limitation for the discovery of fraud is increased to two years from discovery date and five years following the act. Criminal penalties for securities fraud was increased to 25 years, by SOX.
Each public company's CEO and CFO must certify financial statements and reports. Personal loans are banned, to executive officers and company directors, with the enactment of SOX. It is also now required to accelerate reporting of insider trading ("H.. 3763").
In addition, SOX now prohibits insider trading during pension fund blackouts. Compensation and profits for the CEO and CFO must be made public.
Auditor independence is now specifically required. and, American companies must have an internal audit function, that is certified by external auditors. Audit firms are prohibited from providing services, unrelated to their audit work, to clients. One of the most important provisions is an increased accountability, holding CEOs and directors accountable, for crimes…
Beard, D. & Wen, H. "Reducing the Threat Levels for Accounting Information Systems." The CPA Journal. May 2007. New York State Society of CPAs. December 3, 2007 http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2007/507/essentials/p34.htm .
Collins, J. "15 Key Provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley." Microsoft Dynamics. 10 Nov 2004. Microsoft. December 3, 2007 http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/nav/product/navision_15_major_sox_provisions.mspx.
H.R. 3763. 23 Jan 2002. Government Printing Office. December 3, 2007 http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_bills&docid=f:h3763enr.tst.pdf .
Lucci, J. "Enron - the Bankruptcy Heard Around the World and the International Riccochet of Sarbanes-Oxley." Albany Law Review 67(1) 2003: pp. 211-249. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOHost. University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ. December 2, 2007 http://web.ebscohost.com .
Moreover, "corruption and inefficiency have exacerbated problems," ("Fidel Castro: Cuba's Communism Not Working" 2010). Because of the problems currently plaguing Cuba, communism is likely wane gradually by an opening of Cuba's markets even if American-style capitalism is not the replacement. The rise and fall of communism in Cuba has taken place over a relatively short period of time in human history: less than a century. Because of this, the example of Cuba is a world historical event that significantly illustrates the theme of power, governance, and authority.
Themes in history such as geography, historical systems of power, institutions as mechanisms of social change, and science and technology as engines of economic growth and development can be illustrated by specific historical examples. The British aj's infiltration of Fiji and the trafficking of Indian indentured servants is an example of how geography and environmental factors impact the development of human societies over…
Blodgett, E. (2011). Fijian Sugar Plantations and the Ethnic Battle to Govern an Island Nation. TED Case Studies, Number 621. Retrieved online: http://www1.american.edu/ted/fiji.htm
"Castro's Communist regime in Cuba" The First Post. August 7, 2006. Retrieved online: http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/4984,news-comment , news-politics, pros-and-cons-of-communism-in-cuba
"Enron Scandal At-a-Glance," (2002). BBC. August 22, 2002. Retrieved online: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/1780075.stm
"Fidel Castro: Cuba's Communism Not Working" (2010). FoxNews. September 9, 2010. Retrieved online: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/09/09/castro-admits-cubas-communism-doesnt-work/
According to Harvard's student handbook, people who conduct the hazing practice will be held responsible for what happens even though it happens to a lot of people, which indicates it id a standard process (Preventing Hazing at Harvard).
People will argue that others want to be victims of hazing because it is apart of the educational culture and most individuals had been through it (the Hazing eader). Furthermore, some believe that it is no big deal until someone becomes seriously injured or found dead especially when they can buy their way out of trouble, which makes them sinners.
Throughout history, rich people have proven that they are sinners because they tried to stop others' religious beliefs. For example, Hitler was a powerful and rich man who created the Holocaust because he did not want people to be different from him. It is unfortunate that people are often mistreated for…
THE ENRON SCANDAL. 2000. 29 February 2008. http://studenthome.nku.edu/~elixs/pages/page3.htm
TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD. 29 February 2008. http://fl1.findlaw.com/news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/tyco/tycokozlowski91202cmp.pdf
The Administrative Board Harvard University. Preventing Hazing at Harvard. 1 January 2008. Inside Hazing 18 February 2008. http://insidehazing.com/articles_view.php?id=191&category=Normal
Grasping Reality with Both Hands: Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal.
ehavioral Finance and Human Interaction a Study of the Decision-Making
Processes Impacting Financial Markets
Understanding the Stock Market
Contrasting Financial Theories
Flaws of the Efficient Market Hypothesis
Financial ubbles and Chaos
The stock market's dominant theory, the efficient market hypothesis (EMH) has been greatly criticized recently for its failure to account for human errors, heuristic bias, use of misinformation, psychological tendencies, in determining future expected performance and obtainable profits.
Existing evidence indicates that past confidence in the EMH may have been misdirected, as the theory's models do not show a thorough understanding of trading operations in a realistic light.
Researchers have suggested that a variety of anomalies and inconsistent historical results demand that traditional financial theories, namely the EMH, be reconstructed to include human interaction as a key decision-making process that directly affects the performance of financial markets.
This research paper aims to determine whether or not there is a…
Barrett, Larry. (January, 2001). Emotional investing a recipe for disaster. CNET News.com.
Bernstein, Peter. (1998). Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Brennan, Phil. (March 12, 2002) The Great Stock Market Scam. NewsMax.com.
Business Week. (September 29, 1997) The Perils of Investing Too Close to Home.
The accounting profession has had more than its share of ups and downs in the last two decades. The business environment in this period, led by major technological innovations, has changed drastically and become infinitely complex -- making the job of accountants far more varied. hereas once Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) worked almost exclusively in accounting, auditing or tax preparation, now CPA firms have to handle fields such as financial planning, tax planning, business development, financial management, information systems, risk management, forensic and fraud auditing, among others. In addition, the highly publicized business scandals such as the Enron and the orldCom bankruptcies in 2001, the resulting public focus on the accounting profession, and the enactment of important accounting legislation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 have forced the CPAs to respond to the changes. This paper takes a look at some of the recent changes in the…
Colson, Robert H. "CPA Journal Education Forum Anticipates Future." The CPA Journal. 72: 8. (2002): 20+.
Telberg, Rick. "Happy New Year! Yes, It Really Could Be." At Large Column. December 29, 2003 The AICPA Website. February 20, 2004 https://www.cpa2biz.com/News/Telberg/Happy+New.htm
This is reflected in the popularity of the MBA degree, both among the students and the recruiting firms survey by Albrecht and Sack (2000) revealed that nearly 100% of accounting educators and 79% of accounting practitioners stated that they would not get an accounting degree if completing their education all over again
In June 2002, a federal jury convicted Andersen, Enron's independent auditor, of obstruction of justice, prohibiting the firm from practicing before the SEC and ending its audit practice.
In the case of Enron, upper-level executives went too far. By blatantly lying on numerous occasions about the value of their stock, participants like CEO Kenneth Lay overstepped the boundaries of utilitarian lying.
Many studies have been conducted on the relationship between ethics and profitability in the business world. Studies indicate a "positive but not definitive" relationship between ethical behavior and financial success (ebley and More). Especially in the wake of the Enron disaster, investors and employees are looking toward companies with stronger ethical codes. Research has also indicated that companies that overtly refer to their codes of ethics in their annual reports and other public communications fare better than those that don't, in terms of economic added value (EVA), market added value (MVA), and reduced volatility (ebley and More).
Such research does not indicate a causal relationship between ethical behavior and profitability. hat such research indicates is not necessarily…
Enron's bankruptcy causes aftershocks on Main Street, Wall Street and in Washington." 2001. CNN.com. Retrieved July 19, 2005 online at http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2002/enron/
Webley, Simon and More, Elise. "Does Business Ethics Pay?" Apr 2003. Institute of Business Ethics. Retrieved July 19, 2005 online at http://www.ibe.org.uk/DBEPsumm.htm
It should not be treated as a separate exercise undertaken to meet regulatory requirements." (ICA, 29) Here is expressed a philosophical impetus that drives the focus of this research, that such compliance which will generally concern matters such as corporate accounting, the practice of internal oversight and the practice of financial transaction must be considered inextricable from other aspects of practical, procedural and legal operation in terms of its relevance and necessity.
The practice of corporate governance may perhaps best be understand from the perspective that deregulation has largely defined the processes and direction of the global economy across the two decades following the Cold ar and its inevitable opening of economic channels. This is because in practice, corporate governance is a concept which has suffered much neglect. To the point, the statistics availed by organizations such as the orld Bank and the International Monetary Fund illustrate that…
Aguilera, R.V. & Yip, G.S. (2004). Corporate Governance and Globalization:
Toward an Actor Centred Institutional Analysis. University of Illinois: College
of Business. Online at .
ASB. (1999). Reporting Financial Performance. Financial Reporting Council. Online at
NSome of the key questions that were presented in the article include; How could a company as successful as Enron meet such a demise? What lessons can be learned from the Enron Debacle? Was the Bush administration aware of the problems at Enron before they became apparent to the rest of the country What can be done to prevent this from occurring again? Why did WorldCom collapse? Can the collapse of WorldCom interrupt internet connections? Why did Arthur Anderson ignore the discrepancies with Enron's business practices? Is Arthur Anderson to blame for the problems with Enron? Have the actions of Arthur Anderson tainted the profession of accountants? Why wasn't there more accountability for the practices of the companies? Why didn't the SEC know that these problems were occurring?
What is the most significant question?
The most significant question is What can be done to prevent this from occurring again? This…
Bahls, Steven C., Jane Easter Bahls. Dec, 2002. Shred of evidence: learn a lesson from Arthur Anderson: destroying documents makes you look bad -- Legal. Entrepreneur, http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0DTI/is_12_30/ai_96892308
McConnel, Steve. The Enron Debacle. Open Space Magazine. http://www.open-spaces.com/article-v4n4-mcconnel.php
Nyberg Alix. Jan, 2003. After Anderson: surviving the demise - Your Move - Arthur Andersn LLP. CFO, Magazine for Senior Financial Executives
At the heart of the matter, the "servant's responsibility is to obey the employer's direction and the employer's responsibility is to pay the agreed-upon wages." (116) The law allows for a step further, adding that agents owe legal duties of "loyalty, trust, obedience, and confidentiality." (116) The hackneyed character to this relationship is undeniable. If the primary responsibility of the worker is to his boss, modern American society would conclude that the principal owes the agent the same respect provided by the Constitution to the citizen in his private life. The rosey pages of the Financial Times and the crinkled sheets of the Wall Street Journal warn of stories where employers have neglected their inherent responsibility to their workers, American to American, and have subjected them to the unfair treatment and ultimate downfall witnessed in the loss of 401k plans in the Enron scandal. Furthermore, employees in the private sector…
It can be argued that from a responsibility standpoint, it is only money and can be replaced. Therefore, the risk associated with the actions of the manager do not compare with other professional fields. It would appear that licensure is not necessary, nor is a particular body of knowledge in order to become a successful manager.
Morality and Managers
We have demonstrated that managers do not have to possess a standardized set of minimal knowledge in order to perform their job well. Many examples illustrate successful entrepreneurs that do not have even the minimal knowledge base, yet they are a success by many standards. From the standpoint of the necessity of a minimal knowledge base, it would appear that managers do not qualify as professionals from a sociological perspective. However, the public and the company place an incredible amount of trust in managers to carry out their functions in a…
Adams, R., 2005. Innovation management measurement: A http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/templates/jsp/_synergy.2/images/free.gif
International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 8, Issue 1, pp. 21-47.
All Star Directories, Inc. 2008, AACSB Accredited. [Online] Available at http://www.allbusinessschools.com/featured/aacsb/
Boxall, P. & Gilbert, J., 2007, the management of managers: A review and conceptual framework. International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 9, Issue 2, pp. 95-115.