Ethical Realism

April 7, 2011

Review of Barbara Toffler’s Final Accounting: Ambition, Greed, and the Fall of Arthur Andersen

Filed under: ethics,philosophy — JW Gray @ 7:12 am
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I decided that I want to know more about ethics in accounting and someone recommended that I read Barbara Toffler’s book, Final Accounting: Ambition, Greed, and the Fall of Arthur Andersen. Toffler worked at Arthur Anderson, a prominent accounting firm, as a consultant and she believes that she witnessed the culture of greed and salesmanship that lead to the Arthur Anderson’s involvement in the greatest scandals of the accounting world, including both Enron and WorldCom. She describes her experiences, she pinpoints cultural influences of corruption, and she suggests how changes in the accounting world can help avoid scandals the future. I will (1) briefly describe auditing scandals, (2) summarize Toffler’s findings, and (3) discuss my own perspective. (more…)

February 11, 2011

Philosophical Lobbying & Improved Ethics Requirements in Accounting

Filed under: ethics,outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 6:44 am
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I discussed the need for philosophical lobbying (philobbying), and we recently found some success in California. If you want to be a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) in California, then you might have to take 10 units of ethics classes thanks to lobbying by the Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) who hopes that such classes will help reduce the unethical behavior committed by accountants.1 I will discuss the new ethics requirement and why I think it’s a good idea. (more…)

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