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1. in the Course Home Tab of Your Course Shell, Click on “Fasb Codification Access.” Scroll to the Bottom of the Page and Click on “for Tutorials Please Click on the Link Here.” Watch and Listen to the Four Tutorial

In: Business and Management

Submitted By rashrousha
Words 1567
Pages 7
DeVry University

College of Business and Management

Pomona, California

Course Project

ethics in accounting: Accounting error or fraud?

By

Rasha Amin

R_7419@yahoo.com

Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Course Requirements for

Current Issues in Accounting

Acct 525

Professor: Kenneth Shinedling

08/27/2014

Ethics in Accounting: Accounting error or fraud?

Introduction:
Accounting profession all over the globe has developed its own principal based professional ethics where integrity, objectivity, diligence, loyalty and professional behavior are the five virtues professional accountants should have all the way.
Integrity: it means simply, that you have to be honest and straightforward in all professional and business relationships.
Objectivity: it is that professional accountant shouldn’t be influenced by others in a way that affects his professional or business judgment or opinion. I.e.:- to avoid any conflict of interest and not to be biased to any party.
Diligence (Professional competence and due care): To maintain professional knowledge and skill at the level required to ensure that a client or employer receives competent professional services based on current developments in practice, legislation, and techniques and act diligently and in accordance with applicable technical and professional standards. (Albert D. Spalding Jr., 2012)
Confidentiality: Professional accountant should respect the confidentiality of information that they acquired from business relationships with their clients and, therefore, not to disclose any such information to third parties without proper legal authority, nor to use such information for the personal advantage of the professional accountant or third parties.
Professional behavior: Any professional accountant should comply with all the relevant laws and regulations and not to make any actions that would discrete the profession.

What if there is an excess or deficiency in these virtues?
Each deficiency and excess represents habits and behaviors that violate the ethical principles of the respective virtues for example;
| |Deficiency |Optimal ethical |Excess |
|Integrity |Misleading Statements |Honesty & Transparency |Too much disclosure |
|Objectivity |Unreliable Statements |Fair & Reliable representations |Rules-based statements |
|Diligence |Negligent Misrepresentations |Statements based on relevant data |Excess costs |
|Confidentiality |Breach of confidentiality |Useful work product |Too little disclosure |
|Professional Behavior |Untrustworthiness |Credibility |Inflexibility |

(Albert D. Spalding Jr., 2012)
What if professional accountants lost any of the above virtues would it be an accounting error or they are committing an intentional fraud case?
This what I will try to answer in this paper but first lets discuss the below.

1. Do the ethics of accounting differ from one community to another?

I believe that ethics in general are affected by the person’s religion, background and culture.

“Most people define unethical behavior as the conduct that differs from what they believe is appropriate given the circumstances. Each of us decides for ourselves what we consider unethical behavior, both for ourselves and others.” (Alvin A. Arens, 13th edition) Accordingly ehtics differs from one country to another and one community to another and that in general. But what about Accounting ethics do they also differ?

I honestly believe they do. For example; if you live in a corrupted country, where you know that the taxes you pay goes into the pockets of governors, wouldn’t you cheat on your tax return?
What if you are obligated to pay a bribe just to get a fair audit on your tax review, wouldn’t you pay it?
Accordingly, I believe that accounting etics differ from one community to another and one country to another.

2. What is the difference between an accounting error and fraud?

Management Fraud is an intentional act by one or more manager, those charged with governance, employees, or third parties, involving the use of deception to obtain an unjust or illegal advantage.

“The distinguishing factor between fraud and error is whether the underlying action that results in the misstatement in the financial statements is intentional or unintentional. Unlike error, fraud is intentional and usually involves deliberate concealment of the facts. Error refers to an unintentional misstatement in the financial statements, including the omission of an amount or disclosure.” (http://www.auditsol.com.au/media/Fraudw.pdf)

The dispute case between General Free Zones Company and Dunlop Tires SA, was it an accounting error or Management fraud?

General Free Zones Co. (GFZ) is the Sole Distributor for Dunlop Tires in Egypt, Libya and Sudan, where I have worked there for the last 10 years. The company was established in 1992 and has 46 employees.

At first, the company used to get the tires from among different sources like Germany, France, England, Poland, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Africa directly and a 6% commission would be applied to each shipment and invoiced at the end of each year. Such commission would then be paid to Dunlop Tires Inc. in Germany.
In 2009, Dunlop Tires SA bought the selling rights of Dunlop tires in Africa from the German office, and that when all started to change. • They changed the documents route to be indirectly instead of directly from the different sources as it used to be. That is everything had to pass through South Africa office, starting from the price request, purchase order, proforma invoice till receiving the final invoice and shipment advice. • They also diverted all communications to be through South Africa office. • Also they changed the payment terms that was set previously, from 20% deposit upon receiving the profoma invoice and 80% upon shipping to be deposited directly into the sources account to 20% upon receiving the proforma invoice and 80% upon receiving the final invoice prior to shipping and that to be deposited into Dunlop tires SA account, not directly to the source account as it used to be.
The above changes started to raise our doubts, especially that we tried a lot to negotiate it since it was so time consuming to have SA office in the middle of the communication and Documents routing. But they insisted on the new changes, accordingly we had to keep our eyes open and review every single document for each shipment among all the different sources.
We found the following; • The amount stated on the BOL of each shipment along with the amount stated in the shipment advice that the source is paid according to it, is always less than the amount we pay for the shipment. (It varies from 7.5% till 9%, that we pay more) • They make us pay a deposit of 20% for each shipment into their accounts and then they open a 90 days letter of credit for each shipment to the source and we also have to pay the rest the following month. I.e.:- they use our money for at least 90 days till they pay the source.
We kept digging and contacted the banks from the different sources and we reached to one result, we were a victim of fraud by all means.
This happened for almost a year, with differences amounted more than 2 million dollars for more than 10 shipments. When we confronted Dunlop tires SA with all the facts, they denied it and said that it was miscalculations of the commission that should be 6% of the total shipment but it varied from 7.5% till 9% in some, and that it was just a simple accounting error. What do you think?
For me this is a management fraud where 3 of the 5 virtues of accounting ethics were violated. The Accountants in Dunlop tires SA in agreement with the management has dealt with their own distributor GFZc with No integrity, No objectivity and definitely with No Professional Behavior.

After Dunlop Tires SA has denied the case, General Free Zones Co. filed an international Law suit against it but the dispute was then resolved outside the courts, where Dunlop Tires SA compensated GFZc. With 1.5 million USD and renewed the distributorship agreement for another 7 years.

Which leads us to the next step, would you trust to do business in such unethical environment?
Sometimes it is hard for business to survive in unethical environment such as illustrated in the above case, but if it has more advantages and profit to continue operating in such circumstances than just to stop. Then you have to keep going but to open your eyes wide enough, review and audit each single transaction even if it will cost you more.

How could we improve the accounting profession ethics by time?
Since we already have the principles of accounting ethics and the rules in the code of ethics, then we are missing the enforcement of such. Thus, we need more like an accounting ethics police; we need more penalties for violations done by the firms and employers, the professions and even the educators. (http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2004/604/essentials/p58.htm)

Conclusion:
The implementation of ethics would differ from one country to another and from one community to another. We have to reach to a global standardization of such and emphasize more on how to implement them. Also to make sure we have the proper penalties imposed to prevent any misbehavior of professional accountants and companies in the future.

References 1. Albert D. Spalding Jr., A. O. (2012). It’s Time for Principles-Based Accounting Ethics. Springer Science+Business Media, 49-59. 2. Alvin A. Arens, R. J. (13th edition). Auditing and assurance service An integrated approach. Prentice Hall. 3. (n.d.). http://www.auditsol.com.au/media/Fraudw.pdf. 4. (n.d.). http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2004/604/essentials/p58.htm.…...

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