Ethics : a practical guide to decision-making for public accountants : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)
This thesis is a discussion of ethics in the public accounting profession. It focuses upon how to make decisions in ethical dilemmas, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant's (AICPA) Code of Professional Conduct, and other areas of ethical concern that may not be addressed by the AICPA's Code.The research disclosed that the established ethic codes are important in the accounting profession, but they are only guidelines and are not all inclusive. In other words, the codes do not address every ethical situation that could be encountered during one's professional career as an accountant. The AICPA's Code is a minimum standard that must be followed by its members at all times. A professional must decide on an individual basis, for each ethical situation encountered, what is right and just. The public accountant has to look at the established ethical codes for guidance, specifically the Code of Professional Conduct by the AICPA, but the accountant must also be able to make ethical decisions based on his/her own personal code of ethics. While codes of ethics are important, the many different ethical situations one could encounter during one's career calls for applying the highest ethical standards to one's personal and professional life at all times in order to be successful at making the "right" decisions."Ethics and excellence usually go hand in hand. Though anyone can slip, ethical lapses are most common among the marginal performers who exist on the fringe of every business and profession". (Walters. 1990).