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Background on Ethics in Accounting

Discuss about the Ethics in Accounting and Profession.

In current decades, specific discourse of particularly ethics has pervaded public spaces along with consciousness in varied ways there were never seen before specifically in the preceding century. It is significant to mention that within the situation of this specific field of study, accounting can be conceptualised as an all encircling preoccupation. This brings together the conventional exercise of accountancy that mainly deals with number crunching and surrounds facets of financial as well as management accounting together with systems orientation. Scott (2015) highlights the fact that a good code of conduct can be considered to be necessary for controlling the environment of accountability as well as transparency. The current study aims to contribute to the emergent scholarly as well as practical discourse by means of an investigation of accounting ethics in particularly accounting profession.

Recent decades, particularly in the aftermath of incidents of Enrol Scandal as well as Lehman Brothers a renewed interest was observed in particularly the accounting profession and more specifically accounting ethics (Freeman et al., 2017). A major part of the interest can be derived from increasing realisation of the centrality of the two to particularly optimal private as well as public segment organizational along with institutional operations. There is also an increasing realisation regarding the potential risk posed to private as well as public sector business units as well as institutions in case of accounting ethics are not properly supported during operations. Nevertheless, ethics have become essential as there is paucity of research literature on accounting ethics in particularly the developing world (Gaffikin & Aitken, 2014). In essence, this hiatus in the area of research along with scholarship can be considered as the research problem.

The problem of the research can be analysed using background

The primary objective of the current research at hand is

- To assess accounting ethics in particularly the accounting profession

The secondary objectives of the current study are as mentioned below:

-To detect overall development of accounting ethics in particularly accounting as a specialised profession

-To critically assess the significance of accounting ethics in the profession of accounting

-To analytically assess the role played by education in accounting ethics in accounting as a profession

Research Questions

- How accounting ethics has developed in particularly accounting as a specialised profession?

- How has the accounting ethics developed and evolved in particularly accounting as a specialised profession?

Thematic Approach to Literature Review

-What is the significance of accounting ethics in specifically accounting as a profession?

-What is the role played by education in accounting ethics in accounting as a profession?

Preliminary overview on relevant literature on ethics in accounting

As rightly put forward by Ward & James (2015), foundation of different disciplines of applied ethics in accounting is referred to as accounting ethics.  It is neither the intention nor the place of this section to attempt an assessment of amount of literature. In particular, the intent as well as purpose of this specific segment is to deliver an overview of literature pertinent to the current study mainly with the view of generating a background or else statement of research problem. Nevertheless, before delving deep into the research questions mentioned above, it is imperative to define three different notions (Baïada-Hirèche & Garmilis, 2016):

Ethics: Whittington (2016) says that ethics is a study of particularly morality.  It is actually a worthy and principled thing to do. Ghanbari et al., (2016) adds that ethics encompass notions namely values (including both right as well as wrong) and legislation. Baxter (2014) states that ethics is necessarily a study of morality and an worthy thing to undertake. McLellan (2014) corroborates the definition of ethics that orients morality. The term “ethics” illustrates the reason why it is fashionable to utilize two terms interchangeably.

Applied Ethics: As rightly indicated by Richard et al., (2016), applied ethics can be considered as the branch of ethics concerned with evaluation of specific moral issues both in private as well as public life.

Accounting Profession: There are necessarily different areas of speciality and many accountants exercise accounting practices that involve delivering audit, consulting services as well as taxation services (Jefrey, 2018). In particular, the profession of accounting necessarily promote, develop and at the same time uphold accountants throughout the world. Their primary role is to protect overall quality along with integrity of accountants who are necessarily at the heart of the rigorous application (Dyckman & Zeff, 2015).

As per the analysis of Ashton (2003) of the assertion attributed towards George Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright as well as co-founder of the institution “London School of Economics and Political Science”, the manner in which accounting line of work has gained esteem, power along with wealth for the practitioners is by acquiring a body of awareness, understanding and know-how and relinquishing the same in certain amount against payment. Brands & Lange (2016) further witness that generation of reliance is a built-in part of this procedure. The study at hand along with the critical assessment in this chapter asserts that in case of the profession of accounting, yet another fundamental part of the esteem, power along with dynamics of wealth creation for the accounting practitioners is “accounting ethics” (Vosselman, 2016). The current section on review intends to position the complete field study in the perspective of common know-how on accounting ethics as particularly professional ethics.

Epistemological Factors in Accounting Ethics

The present drive of review of literature is to put current study into perspective, to identify and illustrate what prior scholars have observed and put on paper on area under discussion as well as to recognize the primary models and premises that are pertinent to the current research study (Chung & Koo, 2015).

To attain the aforementioned, the current literature assessment undertakes a thematic advance. In addition to this, six recurrent themes can also be identified in this literature on particularly accounting ethics as specialized professional - ethics. The themes identified are hereby mentioned below:

- Epistemological factors in accounting ethics

- Business ethics related to corporate governance

- Standards, Regulations of Accounting and benchmarks

- Ethics in Accounting as professional ethics

- Accounting ethics in particularly business education as well as training

- Accounting ethics in nationalized debates and awareness

The ensuing section takes into consideration each one of the above mentioned themes in succession. Nevertheless, prior to that and to generate a background for the whole ensuing investigation, in a succinct way the story about Luca Pacioli, one who introduced the famed principle of double entry is hereby presented. Luca Pacioli is remembered even in our day when the argument gets intense in accounting regarding when to debit or credit. Also he is regarded as the undisputed ‘father’ of ethics in accounting (Brands & Lange, 2016). The primary intention of the current overview is to analyse ethics in contemporary accounting as a legacy of the fundamentals of the field of accounting as first sketched by Luca Pacioli.

Before starting on to draw round the life as well as works of Luca Pacioli, it might perhaps be imperative to respond sceptics who might wonder about the utility of indulging into learning history of accounting in addition to accounting ethics in study (Warren & Jones, 2018).

As indicated by Gaynor et al., (2015), this religious training provided Pacioli a nous of different moral values as well as judgement that would manifested in his book, named “Summa de Arithmetica Geometria Proportioni et. Proportionalità”. Whilst the Summa is chiefly a work of research on mathematics, attempting to deliver encyclopaedic coverage of the entire field at those tim. Also this book incorporated a separate section for bookkeeping. As indicated by Tormo-Carbó et al., (2016) Non-accountants might perhaps find it complicated to draw the associations between Pacioli’s study on double entry system of bookkeeping and ethics in accounting. Nevertheless, it is this study on double entry in bookkeeping that provides the (epistemological) base of around 26 different accounting ethics. Essentially, the fundamental notion about double entry bookkeeping is awfully simple but has intense implications for ethics in accounting: all debit entries need to have credit entries as well. However, in any specific event where this is aberration in this regard, it reflects creative accounting, that is yet another expression of fraud (Oraka & Okegbe, 2015).

Business Ethics Related to Corporate Governance

As rightly indicated by Bobryshev et al., (2015), epistemological interrogation, that in due course directs towards formulation along with advancement of premise, can be considered to be an important theme in literature on ethics in accounting. Particularly a specific strand of this process of interrogation can be regarded as an endeavour to describe theories of conformity. This can be regarded as a theoretical base of particularly accounting ethics. As Level & Schöndube-Pirchegger (2014) suggests, the foundation of the compliance notion is designed by way of detailed study of standards and experiential way in association to the presented regulations (Baudot et al., 2017). Essentially, ethical norms undertaken by professional relations (of which ethics in accounting is a standard) are time and again dedicated functions of common moral principles. Again, another important strand of the process of interrogation is an effort to describe ethical notion that is yet another theoretical foundation of ethics in accounting. Banerjee (2014) recommend that ethical theory deduces from particularly ethics that indicates towards the abstract along with theoretical reflection on diverse moral judgements. Fundamentally, Ethics calls for the ground based on which various moral statements are presented. Blayney et al., (2015) documents important ethical theories that include consequentialism as well as deontology of (Kantian). As correctly mentioned by Cameron & O'Leary (2015), Utilitarianism refers to an important consequentialist ethical notion that intends to present comparative analysis of aggregated utility or else disutility of different alternative acts. West (2018) says that the ethical decision can be considered to be the one that optimises overall utility.

Essentially, this approach helps in focusing entirely on outcomes or else consequences of different decisions that can be considered as the reason it is normally known as ‘consequentialist’. Again, Kantian deontology, conversely, takes a deeply diverse approach and analyses ethical quality of a particular decision as per the purpose of the agent. At the time when it is applied to specific accounting ethics, these strands of notions have immense implications for the entire study as well as practice of ethics in accounting over millennia (Zhatkin et al., 2017). With reference to the compliance theory, it can be said that there are set of rules along with observed code of conduct in association to profession of accounting that is at the core of accounting ethics (Arfaoui et al., 2016). This is necessarily a legitimate anticipation that accounting professionals need to be duty-bound for conformation with these regulations.

Standards, Regulations of Accounting and Benchmarks

At the time when the theory is implemented to accounting ethics, there is ethical theory that provides the base upon which specific moral as well as value judgements in ethics of accounting are necessarily posed and ascertained (Uyar & Güngörmü?, 2017). Essentially, this is the base upon which “good”, “right” as well as “acceptable” facets in accounting ethics are based upon. Gunz & Thorne (2017) suggest that from the theory of consequentialism, the notion of accounting ethics obtain their perpetual apprehension with the combined utility as well as disutility of all accounting decision. The decision and acts has the final objective to ascertain and pursue decision of accounting and action that can maximise overall utility. As rightly indicated by Klein (2015), consequentialism is necessarily at the core of legitimate anticipations and the decisions as well as actions emanate from particularly accounting profession. In terms of deontology, ethics in accounting deduce perpetual search for ethical quality of decisions of accounting based on the intent of accounting professionals. Based on the Kantian deontology, ethics in accounting have perpetual search from universal benchmark of ethical performance for the accounting profession. Also, accounting ethics are not in itself an end but a means by which different accounting professionals can essentially actualise specific ethical quality of different accounting decisions (Gray III, 2015).

As rightly put forward by Gordon (2017), accounting ethics can be considered to be business ethics and the way they influence corporate governance is an important theme in particularly literature. In essence, ethics as well as corporate governance can be said to be inter associated. In itself, pre-eminence of accounting ethics in specifically business ethics within broader structure of corporate governance is necessarily underscored by emerging and evolving challenge of managing ethics associated issue in the intricate workplace often leading to what is known as reactive mode. This addresses various ethical issues in business circumstances. As rightly suggested by Thompson & McCoy (2017), business ethics play an important role within the broader structure of corporate governance, and accounting ethics play an intricate role wither by means of commission or else by omission. As indicated by Lee & Sohn (2017), accounting professionals have the capacity to exert influence on overall flow of events and professionals are considered as substance. Stuart et al., (2014) says that accountants as well as assessors also play an important role with their viewpoints that is considered as final or in other words strong to exert influence on diverse decisions in particularly business. Nevertheless, accounting ethics that is in other words business ethics in the area of corporate governance appear to have inherited particular social dilemma related to the emergence of the novel paradigm in the field of economics and divide views on whether to command higher ethics or else wider regulation.  Chawla et al., (2015) document this specific dilemma at the time when they witness that in a bid to add up current critical issues it is better to acquire novel economic paradigm with an enhanced level of economic associations in ethic and beef up dimensions of various regulations.

Accounting Ethics as Professional Ethics

In this case, the fundamental inquiry surrounds around current outline of democratic political systems (Dellaportas et al., 2014). This can generate corporate governance atmosphere in perspective of relation goods as well as positive, untraceable assets for the common good. In essence this is the considered viewpoint of the present evaluation where accounting ethics is regarded as the core necessity of different reporting procedures (Pavlova, 2016). Reporting procedures of different corporate shall remain an important facet of business ethics within the perspective of corporate governance. In all, fundamental dilemma orients around is to discover novel model with superior level of ethics in different economic associations, carry out extension of various regulatory dimensions

As rightly put forward by Chandra et al., (2016), accounting standards as well as benchmarks are particularly deduced from specifically deontological or else formalism foundation of ethics in accounting. In essence, it is significant to take account of the fact that inherent in the specific discourse or else language of ethics in accounting is necessarily the accounting standards (Miller & Shawver, 2016). The accounting standards and the benchmarks are essentially the notions around which ideal function of accounting need to orient around. Essentially, Scott (2015) presents pertinent, dependable as well as comparable information regarding effects of standards and benchmarks in accounting. As regards relevance it can be said that appropriate system of accounting can provoke and at the same time stimulate different commercial choices. Again, on the other hand, accounting that is considered to be reliable would necessarily not be reliable and as a consequence is supposed to be verifiable. With respect to comparability it can be said that the stakeholders can help in comparing pertinent information throughout the businesses. Freeman et al., (2017) observes that in actual fact it is possible to obtain data from accounting material that can give dependable opinion with sensible facts beyond doubt and permit testing as well as authenticating in a bid to acceptable.

As correctly mentioned by Gaffikin & Aitken (2014), there are inclusive treatments of accounting standard and benchmark issues and can be considered to be integral to specifically ethics in accounting. Particularly, accounting standards as well as benchmarks for ethics in accounting are presented in the code of conduct. Essentially after recognizing majority of accounting professionals, individuals classified them into cost and management accounting and financial reporting. This can be considered to be considerably historic in characteristics and the former concentrated on future processes. As such, they present ethical considerations for cost as well as management accounting and financial reporting (Ward & James, 2015). As regards professional competency, it can be said that within the wider perspective of accounting profession, the notion of professional knowledge can be considered as capability of the accountant to acquire and at the same time maintain adequate level of capabilities related to accounting (Huff et al., 2014).

Accounting Ethics in Business Education and Training

In essence this can be realised by persistently developing personal proficiencies as well as knowledge, instituting accountabilities that are in line with the pertinent regulations, issuing specific reports along with suggestions. Whittington (2016) recommends that inferences that can be deduced is that accounting ethics specifically demand a professional accountant to strive to as well as maintain a specific standard and yardstick of professional competency.

Taking into consideration accounting standard and benchmark regarding integrity, the notion of integrity within accounting setting might be illustrated as honesty and genuineness in the daily use and practice of accounting skills. Particularly, accountant with integrity for that reason can therefore not be dishonest and would not necessarily get engaged in falsification of business information. Essentially, the characteristics of particularly integrity can be a reality in the notions of full disclosure of pertinent financial information. As suggested by Ghanbari et al., (2016), accountants having integrity can therefore avert situations of probable conflicts and inform different stakeholders in case if dilemma of conflicting situations becomes a real life situation. The accountants having integrity need not undertake engagements that might make it complex to preserve integrity in an ethical way (Arowoshegbe et al., 2017). In addition to this, the accountants need not accept gifts or else favours that subsequently might create impression of exerting influence on the responsibilities. Again, professional accountants can refrain from subverting achievement of corporation’s legitimate as well as ethical objectives (Baxter, 2014).

As correctly mentioned by McLellan (2014), the accountant has the accountability to communicate information both fairly as well as objectively and to divulge all applicable information that can anticipated to exert influence on the  decisions of the end users.

Richard et al., (2016) suggests that the notion of accounting standards as well as benchmarks in particularly literature on accounting ethics is the concept of accounting ethics as professional ethics. Essentially, commitment to become a registered professional accountant calls for the need that professional necessarily behaves in an appropriate manner all the time and keep away from the temptation of undertaking wrong deeds. For getting registered as a professional accountant, an image needs to be maintained in bid to carry out wide vision in others to keep faith in professional accountants. Interpretation of accountant regarding this specific framework can be developed by means of personal experience as well as rigorous training. Also there are certain specific principles that ethical accountants need to follow. These principles include avoiding ethical failures (Dyckman & Zeff, 2015). Even though it might initially appear to be unimportant, there is probability of utilization by unprincipled individuals. Again, there is need for concentrating on long term reputation and accountants have the need to try and disregard short term pressures and concentrate on reputation in the long term period. In addition to this, there is also need to encounter personal consequences. In essence, the ethical accountants might perhaps encounter two different choices. This involves letting go of particularly ethical standards and acquire specific advantages or else get it gnored at the time when different promotional opportunities stem (Chung & Koo, 2015).

Accounting Ethics in Nationalized Debates and Awareness

Ultimately, professional accountants have no other alternative but to resign their own positions within a specific corporation or else appointment from a specific client if the ethical harms are not reasonably resolved. In particular, it is deductible from this specific erudite explanation of accounting ethics that as a specific factor of applied ethics, the notion of accounting ethics command the highest level of moral virtue from different accounting professionals (Bobryshev et al., 2015). These demands can be considered to be legitimate taking into account the fact that accountants deal with specific information and carry out analysis as well as decisions that go to the heart of private as public endeavour with regard to effectual as well as efficient usage of limited resources (Level & Schöndube-Pirchegger, 2014).

Banerjee (2014) argues that it is also important to note that ethics particularly professional ethics is an important matter of interest and concern. Essentially, it is not strange to discover literature on particularly accounting ethics as particularly professional ethics. Blayney et al., (2015) discusses various ethical codes in particularly the accounting profession. Cameron & O'Leary (2015) points out the fact that professional accounting experts are mainly charged with moral accountability to have received knowledge before discharging services as professionals.

It is important to answer the question whether ethics and specifically accounting ethics be taught. Answer to this question can be analysed using the literature on accounting ethics. There are numerous scholars who have addressed this specific question. West (2018) observe that it is important for particularly business facilitators as well as corporate coaches to completely comprehend the entire setting of ethical decisions so that an enriched syllabus along with training can be presented to increase to build up ethical decision making. Therefore, comprehending ethical behaviour from the individual perspective is an ongoing literature. At more particular level, against the structure of the competency framework of SAICA that is released during the year 2008, Arfaoui et al., (2016) recognizes ethics as pervasive skills that need to be addressed in specifically education along with training of different accountants. As per the opinion of Gunz & Thorne (2017), the competencies mentioned in the Competency Framework developed the foundation or base of qualification model on which accredited instruction as well as preparation programmes of SAICA are based. There was an important transfer with stress on capabilities required by accountants (Klein, 2015).

The theme presented in the literature links to the pervasiveness of particularly accounting ethics in particularly national debates, discussions as well as consciousness, particularly after the period of financial crisis of the current times. Few of the discussions as are asserted in the national media are in actual fact sampled and thereafter presented for review. In actual fact, the print media has reflected different unethical concerns that are still in discussion by the common public (Gray III, 2015). In this case, the media throws light on unethical behaviour from highly respected individuals.

Research Objectives

Case study on Earnings Management and Inappropriate Accounting System in Enron, Lehman Brothers

Strong infamy was encountered by both Enron as well as Arthur that again led to bankruptcy. The two giant firms in the segment of utility as well as accounting sectors, acquired advantage of both public as well as government bodies along with financiers to enhance personal wealth by means of illegal as well as unethical actions (Jefrey, 2018). It can be seen that scrutiny undertaken by the Securities Exchange Commission instituted the fact that Enron had participated in different unethical practices with reference to fraudulent financial pronouncement. In essence, it was negative impacts of particularly fraudulent financial pronouncements within particularly Enron that pulled the company down. As correctly put forward by Baïada-Hirèche & Garmilis (2016), inappropriate accounting comprehensively declined the value of stock of the corporation in the capital market and exerted an influence on the reputation of the firm causing a major setback to the brand name. Subsequently, enormous penalties were imposed on the corporation and strict regulations as regards accounting standards were instituted to deliver more clearness, reliability along with transparency to the financials of the corporation. Also, there had been specific dimensions of safety that considerably aided in shielding public as well as financiers before the collapse of the firm Enron. In addition to these requirements, there are additional guidelines as well as directives that need to be followed. Also, there still remains the need to carry out auditing of financial assertions in which independent as well as external auditors undertake strict checks to determine whether a corporation persistently pursues the GAAP in the process of preparation as well as presentation of financial statements (Baïada-Hirèche & Garmilis, 2016). This kind of dimensions included the Generally Accepted Auditing Standard (also simply referred to as GAAS, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (also referred to as GAAP), Professional Ethics as well as Statement on Standards of Accounting. In case of Enron, all these regulations were undertaken in a bid to bar different financiers from acquiring money from investment of stockholders by dissolving accountabilities to different subsidiaries. Subsequently, Enron failed to incorporate information concerning such kind of enterprises in the financial assertions and this led to considerable misstatements.

As rightly indicated by Baïada-Hirèche & Garmilis (2016), the Sarbanes Oxley Act was also initiated after several, high profile accounting scams namely Enron, World Com as well as Tyco and many others that necessarily shook confidence of financiers particularly in the United States. In particular, the Sarbanes Oxley Act effectively advocated that management of business need to have appropriate as well as fair system of accounting. In addition to this, the degree of competence of a corporation and its internal control in divulging weaknesses need to deliver reasonable assurance that there will be appropriate and fair presentation of financial reports. Case of dearth of particularly ethics and collapse of Lehman Brothers can be explained in this regard.  As rightly mentioned by Baïada-Hirèche & Garmilis (2016), as a corporation of particularly certified public accountants anticipated to honour and at the same time support industry wide code of ethics, the accounting firm Ernst & Young might possible be charged of being accountable for gross negligence and short of corporate responsibility. Essentially, the actual tragedy mainly lies in particularly in the lack of ethical behaviour of different executives as well as professional advisors.

Research Questions

Since the SEC was undertaking investigations of the firm Enron, an even big ethics violation of CEO was also brewing. In essence, Worldcom which at the specific time was the second largest long distance telecommunications corporation in the United States entered into discussions regarding merger with particularly Sprint. In essence, the merger was finally dashed by essentially Department of Justice over specific concerns regarding generating virtual monopoly. Particularly, the state of affairs necessarily took its toll on stock price of the business concern. In essence, CEO Bernard Ebbers took possession of millins of dollars in the stock of Worldcom that he necessarily margined for investing in diverse other businesses. Since price of the stock decreased, different banks started claiming that Ebbers cover over and above $400 million in essentially margin calls. In particular, Ebber convinced overall board to lend money in order to make sure that he would not necessarily sell considerable clusters of stock. In essence, he also started an aggressive campaign for the purpose of propping up price of the stock by generating fraudulent accounting entries. In particular, the fraud was finally discovered by the internal audit division of the firm Worldcom and audit committee was necessarily informed. () suggests that ensuing SEC scrutiny directed towards bankruptcy filling in the year 2002 as well as conviction of particularly Ebbers on specifically scam, conspiracy as well as filing fake documents charges. In the end, Ebber started a 25 year sentence in particularly in federal prison during the year 2006.

Hollinger Inc, that is regarded as the parent corporation of Hollinger International during the period of mid 1980s was established by the Canadian Conrad Black with the intention of purchasing of controlling interests in essentially the Daily Telegraph. In essence, with different other purchases carried out through the entire 15 years, Hollinger essentially became one of the largest media groups in the entire world. As the chief executive officer of the firm Black had considerable control over finances of the enterprise.

In essence, the board of directors of the company confronted Black during the year 2003 over disbursements that the business concern made and four different other directors in the range of $200 million. In particular, the board mentioned in the SEC to assess substantiation of disbursements and accounting transactions generated to account for the same. Charges were necessarily laid against Black for financial scam, evasion of tax as well as racketeering and many others. During the year 2007, Black was convicted of 4 out of 13 different charges that were against him and was essentially sentenced for a period of the 78 months in prison and out of which he primarily served for 42. Thereafter, he was released from prison during the year 2012.


Volkswagen pronounced in September that it necessarily has set up software on cars in a bid to ploy the emissions of Environmental Protection Agency into thinking that the specific cars were relatively more environmental friendly than they previously were, financiers understandably desolated the corporation. In essence, Volkswagen essentially lost approximately $20 billion in market capitalization since financiers worried regarding cost borne for disbursement of compensation to the customers for selling the cars that were not necessarily in compliance with environmental rules. Particularly, the corporation not only to handle compensation with the customers and it shall have the requirement of probable fines from different regulators along with reputational hit that can severely affect overall share of the market.

There is no list of corporate screw ups that would be entirely complete without a proper old fashioned scandal on accounting. During September, the electronics transnational firm TOSHIBA admitted that it had overstated earnings by approximately $2 billion over a period of 7 years that equals to nearly 4 times initial approximation during the period April. In particular, the chief executive officer along with President Hisao Tanaka stepped down from the corporation, and an independent enquirer observed that that the company in itself pursued a corporate culture in which decisions of management could not be challenged. In this case, employees were pressured into unsuitable accounting by way of postponing reports of loss or transferring specific costs into later years.

The short seller Andrew Left accused the drug corporation Valeant of utilizing speciality pharmacy corporation Philidor to falsely inflate the figure of sales. In particular, Valeant dismissed the charges. However, Valeant never talked about close ties to particularly Philidor also put forward the question regarding Valeant along with sales exercises of Philidor. In essence, this also affected confidence of financiers in the area of acquisitive drug business. Valeant also accused over the summer of price gouging, purchasing of drugs and then swiftly escalating prices. There are a number of different members of principally Congress, counting presidential optimistic Bernei Sanders that calls for an enquiry into the firm’s pricing stratagems of the company.

Martin Shkreli became renowned as the bad boy of the drug segment after the drug corporation enhanced the price of old drug that treated various HIV patients by approximately 5000% to nearly $750 a pill. However, it is what he carried out before that positioned in jail. During the mid December, the government arrested the person Shkreli on charges of stock fraud associated to actions whilst at Retrophin, the drug corporation ran before Turing. In essence, the former hedge fund manager is mainly accused of utilizing shares of particularly Retrophin to recompense financiers that had lost money with specifically a hedge fund that ran in the previous period. In essence, Shkreli also mentions that there is little substantiation regarding allegations against him, purchased the only copy of the album for approximately $2 million.

As against the set background of the study, the current segment illustrates in detail the methodology of research that is used for the current study. In essence, this section reports on the design of the research, research approach, research design, sources of data and techniques of analysis and interpretation of acquired data (Gordon, 2017). Particularly, the entire discussion in this section orients around the identified research problem along with the objectives of the research.

The methodological dimensions or else parameters of concentration are as mentioned below:

Research Philosophy: The current study at hand utilizes the positivism research philosophy since these aids in process of validation of the notions. In essence, the research philosophy of positivism emphasizes on the fact acceptance of reliable information leads to effective knowledge that is also scientific in nature. This is also kind of derived knowledge. Positivism also supports acquirement of valid knowledge that can be deduced from different valid as well as substantiated sources of data (Thompson & McCoy, 2017). Therefore, positivism can help in process of acquirement of secondary data and validated data otherwise positive facts amassed from different sources indicated as empirical evidences. 

Research Approach: The researcher undertakes deductive research approach as this can help in developing research hypothesis with base on existing theories, notions and aids in formulation of a strategy of research for assessment of the framed hypothesis. As such, deductive approach is undertaken for the current study as this approach helps in representation of reasoning from specific to generalization of theory (Lee & Sohn, 2017). Also, in case if any causal relation or any kind of association appears to the signified by a particular theory, then in that case it might perhaps be true in specific cases. Therefore, deductive research approach can be regarded to be an important approach that can facilitate examination of association or linkage that can be derived from different generic circumstances.  Thus, in this case the deductive approach helps in formulation of specific hypothesis in functional or operational way and proposes associations between different variables (Stuart et al., 2014). Thereafter, it is necessary to assess the results of the assessment and confirm or reject the entire hypothesis.

Research Design: The learner applies the descriptive research design for the present research. This is a particular type of design of undertaking research that essentially explores and elucidates while delivering significant information on diverse matters related to the research topic under deliberation. The research at hand adopts descriptive research design as this uses secondary data along with detailed analysis of previously acknowledged facts that are significant to a great extent (Chawla et al., 2015). 


The current study is mainly founded on secondary data.

Data Sources

As rightly put forward by Pavlova (2016), there various structured text (that is to say, reports, writings, results of varied surveys, literature in books and journals and websites among many others)that are amassed as qualitative data for the present study. The data used for the study mainly include theory that indicates towards particular ser of different inter-related themes, definitions along with propositions that can present systemic viewpoints regarding events else wise situations by referring to relations among varied variables (Amponsah et al., 2016).

For undertaking the current study, the learner adopts qualitative research analysis that can necessarily be utilized for the purpose of beginning a process of enquiry into the specific reasons behind behaviour (ethical or unethical) of human beings (Chandra et al., 2016). The researcher utilizes analysis of case studies, process of thematic analysis and systematic assessment of prior academic literature for analysis of the collected qualitative data.

Systematic assessment of research work on specific notions are carried out by scholars can help in understanding the subject matter under consideration and answering the research questions framed for the study.

The case studies mentioned in this study helps in understanding the fact that there are ethical concerns regarding operations of the stated corporations that led to the financial scams in the firm. This section throws light on ethical concerns of the firms of fraudulent pecuniary statements within specifically Enron that pulled the corporation down. The case studies on Enron as well as Lehman Brothers is a giant corporation is the division of utility as well as accounting segments that engaged in the process of unethical exercises relatable to financial announcements. Inappropriate accounting instantaneously decreased overall stock value of the business concern in particularly capital market as well as implemented an influence on overall reputation of the corporation causing a major hindrance to the brand. Similarly, financial scams and filing of forged documents charges of Ebber of led to generation of fraudulent accounting entries that again showed the way to propping up of particularly stock prices. Ethical concerns regarding Hollinger International during the period of 1980s was instituted by the Canadian Conrad Black with the purpose of buying of controlling interests in necessarily the Daily Telegraph. The board stated SEC as regards validation of disbursements as well as accounting transactions generated to account for the same. Charges were primarily laid against Black for financial scams, tax evasion and racketeering among many others. In the same way, Volkswagen necessarily lost nearly $ 20 billion in market capitalisation as investors worried as regards cost borne for pay-out of compensation to the customers for marketing the cars that were not essentially in adherence to environmental regulations. In particular, business concerns can deal with compensation with the clients and it can have the obligation of probable fines from diverse regulators together with reputational hit that can sternly affect the complete market share. In similar manner, TOSHIBA also encountered financial scandal on accounting. In this case, employees were pressured into inappropriate ways of accounting by postponement of reporting of losses else wise transferring costs into consequent years. Also, similar ethical concerns leading to financial scams have affected business operations of the firm. There are diverse members of particularly Congress including presidential positive.

Analysis of the case study reveals the fact that accounting ethics can detect development of accounting ethics in specifically accounting as a specialised profession. There are different unethical exercises with orientation to fraudulent financial pronouncements of the corporation. The case studies also suggest about management of earnings as well as inaccurate system of accounting in different firms under consideration. Inappropriate reporting led to inflated sales figure and thereafter financial scams.

Systematic review of previous works by numerous scholars reveals that the learning the history of accounting shows ethics in accounting evolved from the work of Luca Pacioli that stressed on diverse moral values along with judgements.  Pacioli’ s work helps in gaining deep insight regarding ethics in accounting from the encyclopaedic coverage of the book that talks about epistemological base of approximately twenty six different accounting ethics. Early works presented by Pacioli helps in understanding basic notions regarding double entry bookkeeping that is presented in a simple manner and helps in understanding implications for ethics in accounting. Thus, this work helped in detecting any kind of aberrations with regard to ethical codes and identifies expressions of fraud. Also, prior research studies also helps in comprehending epistemological facets in accounting that in due course showed the way towards development of specific premises and themes in the literature of accounting.

Also, thorough analysis of prior works also replicates the foundation of compliance necessities that is necessarily designed by means of detailed study of ethical theories. Review of literature reflects that ethics calls for a fundamental framework founded on which different moral judgments are delivered and refers to consequentialism along with deontology. Critical assessment of prior works on ethical development in accounting indicates towards utilitarianism that refers to consequentialist ethical concepts that has the intention to deliver comparative evaluation of aggregated utility. Again, ethical decision is regarded to be the ones that are said to optimize overall utility. Thus, previous works by scholars helps in comprehending significant development made by consequentialist notion that indicates towards outcomes of different notions. Also, these prior researches helps in identifying significant themes of Kantian deontology that stresses towards the need of analysing overall ethical quality of a specific decision based on purpose of an agent. Again, development of compliance theory also helps in comprehending diverse set of regulations along with code of conduct in relation to profession of accounting that is at the core of ethics in accounting.

The case studies also suggest about significance of accounting ethics in different firms under consideration. Inappropriate reporting led to misstated financial reports that again can enhance unethical exercises with orientation to fraudulent financial assertions. The negative impacts of unethical exercises pulled the corporations down (apparent from fall in prices of the stock) as mentioned in different business cases including Enron, Lehman Brothers,, Hollinger International, Volkswagen Emissions, TOSHIBA as well as Valeant.

Analytical assessment of prior literature helps in arriving at the conclusive outcome regarding significance of ethics in the area of accounting. Analysis of  academic literature shows that accounting ethics is inter related to corporate governance and business ethics is said to play a vital role in development of superior corporate governance of a firm. Evaluation of prior studies by several scholars substantiates the fact that accounting professionals prove to be influential in different flow of events and exert immense impact on processes of decision making in business.  Past works also validates the fact that accounting ethics particularly in the area of corporate governance atmosphere in standpoint of goods or else assets for particularly common good. Particularly, this is regarded as the opinion of current analysis in which accounting ethics is considered as the core requirement of different reporting processes. In addition to this, prior work also outlines ethical considerations for cost, management accounting as well as financial reporting. As far as professional competency is considered, broader perspective of accounting profession, theme of professional knowledge can be regarded as potential of the accountant to acquire and maintain adequate level of potential associated to accounting. Inferences deduced from prior studies helps in arriving at the conclusion that accounting ethics particularly demand professional accountant to thrive and maintain a particular standard and benchmark of professional competency. Analysis of prior literature reveals the fact that accountants get engaged in analysing falsification of information. Features of particularly integrity can be regarded as a reality in the themes of full disclosure and this in turn helps in attainment of higher integrity. Additionally, prior studies help in understanding accounting ethics as professional ethics that subsequently can help in developing principles that can avert ethical failures. Ethical accountants can follow the principles to avoid ethical failures. Therefore, ethics in the area of accounting can be regarded to be a significant matter of concern as well as interest.

Significance of ethics can be understood properly from the cases of dearth of ethics that led to failures of corporation. The cases of Enron can help in explaining the way ethical code of conduct in accounting could have averted the possibility of failure. For instance, inappropriate accounting system comprehensively reduced the stock value specifically in the capital market and proved influential on reputation of the corporation generating a major setback to particularly brand name.

Analysis of available literature also replicates the fact that accounting ethics plays an important role in specifically business education and training. Analytical evaluation of prior studies replicates the fact that it is important for business facilitators and corporate coaches to understand overall situation of ethical decision making. This in turn helps in analysing ethical behaviour from the perspective of individual based on ongoing literature. Additionally, ethics in accounting presented in literature helps in associating ethical accounting in national debates, discussions, realization as well as awareness. Also, standards of accounting along with benchmarks are specifically deduced from particularly deontological and formalism foundation of chiefly accounting ethics. In essence, education and training on accounting standards along with benchmarks for ethics can help in reflecting the code of conduct.


The concern of accounting ethics is essentially well researched. Nonetheless, there is a scarcity of literature on particularly accounting ethics, therefore, concentrating on particularly hiatus in both research as well as scholarship. Despite this being a shortcoming, it is a benefit that focuses on immense research opportunities in the area. Against the background of the current literature it can be hereby mentioned that accounting ethics are vital for the accounting profession owing to the fundamental as well as indispensable role accountants mainly play in the area of business reporting. In essence, a slip in the area of ethics in the area of business reporting time and again occasioned by scantiness of moral probity on mainly the part of accountants, has the capacity for massive negative business as well as social ramifications. Different financial scams of modern times namely the Enron as well as the Lehman Brothers scams, directs the need to understand ethics of accounting. A high-quality departure would be an overhaul of preparatory as well as in service business education as well as training respectively so as to assimilate ethics in general and accounting ethics particularly. Furthermore, regardless of wonderful pieces of legislation, there are different codes of conduct along with a number of procedures in position to enforce ethical code of conducts.

There are several deductions can be made from this study. The presentation of deductions necessarily pursued the logic of the field study, namely deductions from the literature. In essence, deductions from the literature take in accounting ethics that is integral to different epistemological advances of particularly of mainly accounting science and development of accounting exercise. Again, accounting ethics particularly as a dimension/metric of business ethics are vital in the process of corporate governance. In addition to this, heart of accounting ethics and profession of accounting directs towards development of various accounting ethics standards as well as benchmarks at particularly national as well as international levels. Again, with passage of time, the accounting profession developed and transformed from humble roots in particularly the days of Luca Pacioli into professional ethics. This fact is attested by the existence of codes of conduct for different accounting professionals. Essentially, the identification of the significance of accounting ethics has directed to the assimilation of accounting ethics in particularly business education as well as training. Furthermore, accounting ethics are not only a matter of concern of researchers as well as business education stakeholders but also a matter of concern for large segments of community. Essentially, it is for this purpose, accounting ethics have discovered space in different national debates as well as consciousness.  As regards accounting education, accounting education has the need to promote different moral issues that is an important one in accounting ethics. Particularly, accounting education need to be able to identify issues in the areas of accounting profession that have ethical insinuations.


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