Temporary Success...Is it Worth Getting Caught For?

by snowflake26 on February 10, 2015 - 3:48pm

There is always an accountant working for a company. Accountants face many ethical dilemmas depending the type of person they are. An accountant does precise and detailed calculations, and cannot make one mistake. That task itself is already stressful and hard. Accounting information can affect so many things. It can affect the price that a buyer pays, the salary of the workers, the success of products and services (Larson 11). Also, “misleading information can lead to a wrongful closing of a division, causing workers, customers, and suppliers to be [...] harmed” (Larson 11). It can be stressful for an accountant to do their job properly if the company puts pressure on them.   When a management or a corporate officer puts pressure on an accountant, a big part of the company’s success is going to be in the hands of the accountant. For this reason, the accountant might to do anything in their power to bring success to the company, since they do not want to let anyone down and disappoint them. So in order for the company to seem successful, they will manipulate and alternate the financial reports and not truly reporting the actual amounts of assets, liabilities, and profit or loss. If they do this, in the eyes of the management and corporate officers, the company may seem successful, but it really is not. Accountants have ethical obligations to follow, and going against them is not very professional. Accountants are expected to be very professional, they must keep sensitive information confidential, they should trust others and themselves and be objective in financial disclosure (Larson 9).

The ethical idea that is applied to this dilemma is teleology. Teleology is “the study of what it is right to do and wrong to do follows and depends on the study of what are good and bad ends to pursue or what one’s real interests are” (Deigh 13). This means that the objective or end goal is what matters the most. It does not really matter if you are doing the good thing or bad thing, but in the end, if you have reached your goal, which in other words is called the summum bonum, then you have made an ethically right decision. In this specific ethical dilemma, the ultimate end for the accountant would be the company’s success. In order to make that happen, the only way the accountant can think of doing is making up a false image of the company. The main goal in this situation is “to choose the action that will bring the most good to the” company, that the accountant thinks is the most important (Merrill 25). By making a false image of the company, the management will see that there is nothing wrong with the company and that it seems pretty profitable and successful.  

The accountant should not risk their job and the real success of the company by altering the company’s financial report. The right thing to do is to make the company’s financial statements truthfully without being affected by the pressure of the management of the corporate officers.


Works Cited

Deigh, John. “What is Ethics.” Media Ethics 345-LPH-MS. Ed. Sarah Waurechen. Montreal: Eastman, 2015. 4-16. Print.

Larson, Kermit. Fundamental Accounting Principles. Montreal: Mcgraw Hill, 2008. Print.

Merril C, John. “Overview: Theoretical Foundations for Media Ethics.” Media Ethics 345-LPH-MS. Ed. Sarah Waurechen. Montreal: Eastman, 2015. 3-32. Print.



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