The authors systematically explore the new range of ethical issues which have emerged in recent years, including the significant impact on approaches to ethical problems which resulted from the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, the financial crisis of 2008, and the move to replace GAAP with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
The audiobook begins by investigating the nature and purpose of accounting and follows with a brief study of the nature and use of ethical principles in determining accountants’ responsibilities; it examines the ethical imperatives that bind professionals and the specific principles and rules that various accounting codes dictate.
Next, the audiobook explores the major types of practices in which accountants engage – auditing, managerial accounting, and tax accounting – and the responsibilities associated with those practices. The new topics are addressed in a section which highlights the debates over the use of fair–value accounting and principles– versus rules–based standards.
Ronald Duska is The Charles Lamont Post Chair of Ethics and the Professions at the American College as well as the Director of the Center for Ethics in Financial Services. He is the author and editor of several books including, Contemporary Issues in Business Ethics, Ethics for the Financial Services Professional (with Julie Ragatz, 2008), and Moral Development: From Piaget to Kohlbergm. Brenda Shay Duska MT, CPA, is currently a manager at Del Pizzo & Associates, specializing in taxation. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Society for Financial Service Professionals. She serves on the boards of the non–profit, MusicWorks and the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Society for Financial Service Professionals. Julie Ragatz is Assistant Professor of Ethics at The American College and the Associate Director of The Center for Ethics in Financial Services. She is currently finishing her PhD in philosophy at Temple University where she concentrates on ethical theory and applied ethics.
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Accounting-specific topics plus general ethics
I'm very pleased with this book. I find that the accounting ethics principles fairly well track those in my own specialty, law, but it is enlightening to see where accounting differs. A CPA has the public as a very important constituency, though the subject business (e.g., the subject of an audit by the accountant) pays the accountant's bills. The point of such services as auditing is to assure the public gets accurate material information, and other parties such as potential lenders to the business can see an accurate picture as well, but pressures from the subject company can, I'm sure, be intense (as they can from supervisors in the auditing firm who may have a keen interest in revenues from the subject company). Right away one can sense the sensitive and sometimes tough ethical challenges the accountant faces. The author goes pretty far also into more general, philosophical ethics topics, such as the categorical imperative in Kant's work. Many references are made to Enron, Arthur Anderson's fall, and Sarbanes-Oxley requirements, as well as emerging rules and regulators. This might not be good beach reading for many, but it is for me.
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