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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Teaching Ethics In The Trump Era

Kelly Richmond Pope
Forbes Magazine
Originally posted January 15, 2017

Here is an excerpt:

Ethical leadership should be a nonpartisan value that we all share. Ethics is under attack and I am no longer sure how we defend it. In class, we often have discussions about conflicts of interests and the dangers conflicts of interest have on the auditor-client relationship. According to the AICPA website. ‘accountants in public practice should be independent in fact and appearance when providing auditing and other attestation services’. When my students see New York Times headlines like ‘Scott Pruitt, Trump’s EPA Pick Backed Industry Donors Over Regulators’, what should they think? Do ethics rules apply to everyone or only a few?

I spend my time teaching future CPAs that we must continue to adhere to a strict code of ethical conduct but I fear they are growing weary of this message. The headlines that my students are now seeing is very confusing and really causes them to question the role of ethical leadership. If we operate under the mantra of ‘do what I say and not what I do’ I fear that will be revisiting the 2008 financial crisis in the very near future.

The article is here.