MGT7019-8, ETHICS, WEEK 7
MGT7019-8, ETHICS, WEEK 7 MGT7019-8
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by JC11 on Saturday April 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MGT7019-8 at Northcentral University taught by in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see ETHICS in General at Northcentral University.
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Date Created: 04/09/16
NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY ASSIGNMENT COVER SHEET Student: THIS FORM MUST BE COMPLETELY FILLED IN Follow these procedures: If requested by your instructor, please include an assignment cover sheet. This will become the first page of your assignment. In addition, your assignment header should include your last name, first initial, course code, dash, and assignment number. This should be left justified, with the page number right justified. For example: Save a copy of your assignments: You may need to resubmit an assignment at your instructor’s request. Make sure you save your files in accessible location. Academic integrity: All work submitted in each course must be your own original work. This includes all assignments, exams, term papers, and other projects required by your instructor. Knowingly submitting another person’s work as your own, without properly citing the source of the work, is considered plagiarism. This will result in an unsatisfactory grade for the work submitted or for the entire course. It may also result in academic dismissal from the University. MGT701987 Thomas Schaefer, DBA Ethics Assignment 7 Faculty Use Only <Faculty comments here> <Faculty Name> <Grade Earned> <Date Graded> 2 Introduction The purpose of this week’s paper is review a previously read article and evaluate it for design and whether or not the results of the study were logical. To do this, an analysis of the SarbanesOxley Act (SOX) of 2002 is first defined and subsequently analyzed for it’s effectiveness of restoring the public’s trust. In t his study the following will be discussed: 1) Brief historical summary on SOX enactment 2) The key ethical components of the SOX 3) Social responsibility implications regarding mandatory publication of corporate ethics, 4) One of the main criticisms of SOX is that its implementation presents an unfair burden on smaller organizations. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why? 5) How might you suggest improvement of the SOX legislation? Brief historical summary on SOX enactment In 2002, Congress enacted the SarbanesOxley Act otherwise known as SOX was enacted. The purpose of this was to make an attempt at restoring the public’s trust by implementing code, improving organizational ethics, and audit procedures and whistleblower protection. Orin (2008) discusses that the reason SOX was enacted was to help people have faith in the corporate system again after the Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia, and Tyco scandals. Simply put, SOX is another layer of bureaucratic red tape put in place to ensure that publically traded companies and their managers do the right thing. By placing an additional layer of protection, aka paperwork, in place, the public should be able to have a higher degree of trust for the companies they are instructing with their investments. According to Kessel (2011) the increased regulations are placed on companies to make an attempt at ensuring ethical compliance included costs that are far too extensive. As a business 2 owner, it becomes more logical to sell the company to larger organization. They would do this because is it easier and more profitable to sell it to a company willing to take on such regulations rather than keep it and got through the process. In the end, the cost may be more to the consumer due to the lack of competition at that level. The key ethical components of the SOX The SOX Act created a number of ethical components. It’s first step, according to Franzel (2014) was to create a Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). King and Case (2014) mention that the mission of the PCAOB was to provide oversight of the audits that public companies conduct. Essentially it’s mission is to audit the auditor which the government believes is the public’s best interest. Franzel (2014) also suggests that the board had four main responsibilities that include the following: 1) Establish audit and professional standards 2) Register firms that audit public companies, brokers, or dealers, 3) Conduct and report on regular inspections on those audit firms, and 4) Conduct investigations and disciplinary hearings on those in violation. Social responsibility implications regarding mandatory publication of corporate ethics Mellon and Marley (2013) discuss the impacts of publishing corporate ethic standards within their article. One of the points they discuss is the grey line that exists between publicizing certain information and confidentiality. Is there are a need for certain pieces of information to be placed in the eye of the public when it may dishonor certain confidentiality agreements? While one may jump to the conclusion of yes, of course, the question then becomes, why does our very own government not comply with the same standard. There are programs that are completed and conducted in the “black world” that are funded the same all of the other programs are funded , but are not reported in the same manner. The items purchased, the missions accomplished, etc. are not known to the public and until the Top Secret coding on the program is lifted, this 2 information is not and may never be seen. While, the government places law upon law to govern corporations, they sure do make it hard to see that they have the same social responsibility as a corporate entity. Government is a big business. If one does not believe that this is truth, one can look at the $13.2 Trillion dollars in debt that the US holds today (Congressional Budget Office, 2015). So, to look at the social responsibility that a corporation holds to the public, one must acknowledge that this law needs to be extended to the largest corporation out there to be truly effective. One of the main criticisms of SOX is that its implementation presents an unfair burden on smaller organizations. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why? I believe that this is one of the truest statements out there. By placing layer upon layer of reporting, paperwork, and audits on a small company, it may mean the difference between a company succeeding or bankrupting. A smaller business may have a very small profit margin, and with the additional regulation and expense they may never be able to transition into a profitable state. Orin (2011) believes that industry is pushing to have so much regulation removed and is a firm believer that the Government holds to their policies. While Orin’s opinion may be that this type of policing is necessary for companies to remain ethical, I seriously doubt his level of involvement with smaller businesses looking to form an IPO. By understanding the unnecessary burden this regulation places on small business, large corporations will be able to continue to push them out of the market. Bova, MinuttiMeza, Richardson, and Vyas (2014) bring up an excellent point in regards to SOX and the mindset of a smaller company. When looking at the possibility of developing a SOX type of infrastructure to comply with the regulations, companies may choose an exit strategy rather than dealing with the compliance issues. When looking at this concept from a 2 broader perspective, this is actually quite infuriating for a smaller business owner. If they were to try to make a profit by choosing to go public, they would have to attempt to find other ways to supplement their income or choose to sell the business. If the level of competition from a large business is already high, the chances that the next up and coming small business to become true competition would be significantly lower. If a consumer has to look at the large business in the US and also has an option to seek out companies outside the US to outsource the item or service, why would they not? This may be one additional reason a smaller company can’t get past a certain threshold. Consumers that don’t mind paying a higher price and want an American made product are certainly paying the surcharge due to additional regulations. While they may not mind paying a higher price if the competition is between the larger corporation and a foreign entity, a newly formed IPO may never even have a chance. While SOX and the additional regulation stemmed from a few companies that had poor management and decision making skills, it seems to defeat the purpose of capitalism. There are better ways to ensure companies comply than by adding an additional layer of control in the mix. How might you suggest improvement of the SOX legislation? Improvement of SOX legislation can start by removing and decommissioning SOX legislation and giving companies back the power they need to function as a business. The improvement then exists on the backend of the business with stricter laws. If the individuals are found doing the things that management in Tyco and Enron ended up doing, a simple bit of ethical compliance and additional red tape is not going to stop them. What may stop them is what happens as an end result. By allowing the management staff involved to go free after only a few years of incarceration due to their toprated lawyers, is a huge part of the problem. Let’s take for example the article written by Hays and Ariail (2013). Hays served 30 years in the 2 financial industry not only as a CPA with 6 years of audit experience, but within the CIA as well as was the VP of a multibilliondollar division of a major oil company. He and his four partners signed a development agreement with Enron and during this time he did an extensive review of Enron’s financials. During his involvement with Enron, he was essentially clueless of the wrongdoings that were taking place right in front of him. The company’s management and accountants did a thorough job of moving funds around on the balance sheet to fool investors as well as members of their own organization. The concept of fraud within an organization is not a new concept and I believe only true way to lessen the existence of fraud in this way it to simplify tax laws. Tax laws are extensive and filled with so much confusing language that it creates an indefinite number of ways to work around the law or even within it. The way our tax law is written is overbearing and ridiculous. It begs people to take advantage of the system because there are only a certain few that understand it. If tax law were rewritten and brought down to a onepage sheet that consisted of; if you earn this much this is what you pay, the loop holes and confusion would cease to exist. It is those that have the resources and that have an understanding of the law that have a greater ability to hide, fool, and break the law with Halliburton and exVP Dick Cheney at the tip of the spear. We as a society have certainly gone so far outside the limits of making logical sense that there is very little room for common sense. As long as the laws are so complex and complicated, there will always be fraud. To add in another level of red tape, SOX, only diminishes smaller companies’ abilities to potentially compete with larger companies. I truly believe that our government is too busy putting bandaides on the problem rather than fixing the true problem at heart. Article for Review Now, after reviewing SOX, what it is and it’s implications we are to review an article and how its design and study results relate to the above discussion. In week three, we reviewed an 2 article by Stephens, Vance, Pettegrew (2012). This article discussed ethics in teenagers and how teenage ethical decisions relate to the decisions made as adults. The design of the study took into account 30,000 US high school students and how they viewed their own ethics and morality. The study discussed how they not only viewed their own personal morality but also analyzed the rate at which they admitted to cheating on a test or homework. The study showed that while a high percentage of students cheated on either homework or a test throughout the year, that they valued their ethics and morality at a high level. The design and the study results were very logical. It all comes down to human nature. The human population can find ways to justify all sorts of ethical and moral dilemmas. This concept is apparent at an early age and it certainly continues on through adulthood. Will a five yearold lie just to get attention or to get their way? The answer is a resounding yes. Overall the concept of placing controls on humanity is a possibility, the problem will always remain that there will be loopholes and ways around the rules. To take this concept a step further and apply it to the study, we realize that while those loopholes exist, SOX is trying to place controls on audits and auditors. I am confused as to why would they believe they can control humanity any further than high schools can control their students or a parent could keep 5 year old from telling a lie. Even with regulation in place, the only way to ensure compliance is met is to allow for transparency and a clear understanding of the expectation. As the governing entities continue to complicate the issue, there will always be wiggle room that people utilize to circumvent the rules they put in place. Conclusion Overall, the purpose of this week’s paper is review a previously read article and evaluate it for design and whether or not the results of the study were logical. To do this, an analysis of 2 the SarbanesOxley Act (SOX) of 2002 is first defined and subsequently analyzed for it’s effectiveness of restoring the public’s trust. In this study the following will be discussed: 1) Brief historical summary on SOX enactment 2) The key ethical components of the SOX 3) Social responsibility implications regarding mandatory publication of corporate ethics, 4) One of the main criticisms of SOX is that its implementation presents an unfair burden on smaller organizations. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why? 5) How might you suggest improvement of the SOX legislation? 9 CharpiaJMGT701987 References Bova, F., MinuttiMeza, M., Richardson, G., & Vyas, D. (2014). The SarbanesOxley Act and Exit Strategies of Private Firms. Contemporary Accounting Research, 31(3), 818850. doi:10.1111/19113846.12049 Congressional Budget Office (2015). Budget. Retrieved October 6, 2015 from https://www.cbo.gov/topics/budget Franzel, J. M. (2014). A Decade after SarbanesOxley: The need for ongoing vigilance, monitoring, and research. accounting horizons, 28(4), 917930. doi:10.2308/acch50868 Hays, J. B., & Ariail, D. L. (2013). Enron should not have been a surprise and the next major fraud should not be either. Journal of Accounting & Finance (21583625), 13(3), 134 145 Kessel, M. (2011). SarbanesOxley overburdens biotech companies. Nature Biotechnology, 29(12), 10811082 King, D. L., & Case, C. J. (2014). SarbanesOxley Act and the public company accounting oversight board’s first eleven years. Journal of Business & Accounting, 7(1), 1122. Orin, R. M. (2008). Ethical guidance and constraint under the SarbanesOxley Act of 2002. Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance, 23(1), 141171 Stephens, W., Vance, C. A., & Pettegrew, L. S. (2012). Embracing ethics and morality. CPA Journal, 82(1), 1621.
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