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Code of Ethics in Accounting

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The AICPA Code of Professional Conduct established rules, guidance, and regulations for accountants or CPAs. It is the code of ethic in accounting and the AICPA Professional Ethics Committee sets rules of conduct that CPAs are required to meet. The code has four distinct part, and each applies to members in different practice.

The major advantage of having this honor code is that with that code, the public confidence of the service provided by CPAs is increased. Since CPAs provide financial information to shareholders and investors, it is important for them to have honor code to follow and have reliable information provided. The society want the CPAs to act at higher level. According to the article what are the benefits of having a code of ethics in accounting (Osmond Vitez, 2017), the honor system can improve a better professional environment. Employees would know the importance of act ethnically at the AICPA firm from the honor system and can review the honor code at any time so that they know the expectations and responsibilities from the accounting firm. Furthermore, the accounting firms with the professional conduct have higher reputation than those firms don’t have. Customer and business organizations have positive attitude toward firms with honor code because they consider them can act ethnically, be responsible for the pubic and are more trustworthy.

While the honor system has several benefits, there are also some considerations for the honor code. For example, according to the article “Ethnical Dilemmas in Accounting” (Kendra James,

“Many accounting professionals do not encourage ethics courses and argue that ethical behavior is not taught, but it is inherent in an individual’s personality.”

Although the honor code states the rules for accountant to comply with, the code does not provide solutions for all possible problems that accountants might face but rather problem-solving skills. For example, there are situations where the accountants face some ethical dilemmas during business career, so the honor code lists a six-step approach to solve the problem. According to ,,,,,,,,The first step involves with obtain relevant facts. The accountant should facts about who is involved with the situation and when it happens before trying to figure out possible solutions. The accountant should understand the facts of what indeed happens in the situation. The second step indicates that the accountant should find ethical issues related to the problem. There can be situations that involved both legal and ethical issues. The third, fourth, and fifth steps requires accountant to find options of what can he or she do under this situation.

After identifying the possible options, the accountant can evaluate the pros and cons of the options including short-term and long-term effects and choose the best decision. The last one involves with implementing the best solution. All the steps included in the honor system are useful tools for not only accountant but all professionals to study and use when face with ethnical dilemmas.

While the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct set standards for the professionals, schools such as the Allegheny College and the Notre Dame of Maryland University also have their own honor system or honor code. The honor system is beneficial for both students and schools. The honor system established a culture of academic honesty. Regarding to the schools, they can prevent dishonesty behavior such as cheating, plagiarizing, fabricating, and stealing from students. Since students know the existence of honor code, they would know that if they violate the honor code, they will get punished by the school. From the students’ standpoint, the honor system provides a foundation for developing a sense of personal responsibility and independence.

In addition, the honor system can increase maturity for students. For example, students might face ethnical problem such as failing a class or cheat on the exam, and the honor system effectively impact students’ decision to act academic honesty. With the honor system, students are considered to be more trustworthy, respected and integrity. Having the honor code not only benefit students in the short term or in school, but also benefit them in the long-run such as in their future career life.

However, it is important for schools to consider that the honor system need to be simple, practical and applicable because students need to accept it and understand it. The honor code should not be too complicated and must be easy to understand.

One school that has a unique honor system is The Allegheny College. The Allegheny College has academic honor code was developed by student body at college rather than by administration of the college. Based on the website of Allegheny College, the honor system was established by the student body and the students themselves participated and voted the honor system.

One of the benefits of the structure of this honor system is that students understand in depth of the honor system because they created it. The students valued more about academic honesty more than students who passively understand the honor system.

For the Notre Dame of Maryland University also has a very unique honor code that the university not only include academic violations such as cheating, plagiarism, and deceptions in the honor code, but it also mentions “dishonest use of computer facilities.” In other words, if students download information on school’s computers, use work in other students’ laptop for an assignment, and illegally use of school computer facilities are considered to be academic dishonesty. I consider that this part of honor code is also useful for our school University of Delaware because I think that lots of students have computer information class. Many of us are required to complete assignments through the Virtual Lab, so it’s important for us to know the rules and standards when using the lab computer and we could use this as a reference and include it in our school honor code. For instance, according to the George Tech Computer and Network Usage policy, it states that “You should always use computing resources in accordance with the high ethical standards of the institute community.”

Except for The Allegheny College and the Notre Dame of Maryland University, the Converse College also has a special honor system. From the website of Converse College, the college reminds students of the honor code each day. In addition, each new student at school have to signed names on the honor pledge. The completed honor pledge with signed names will be hang in one of the major class halls over the next four years. The benefit of this is that when each student first come to school, they will have a basic understanding of the University’s honor system. From reminds of honor code every day, students always keep in mind of the academic honesty

They can also review the honor code at the major class hall.

For all the research that I did on the three different institution. I found out that our school University of Delaware can learn from their honor system.

Your system should also include consequences if there is a violation of the Honor Pledge, process for resolving an allegation and a plan for dissemination of information about the Honor System, composition of an Honor Council or Board and other aspects. Identify and explain your rationale for all components of your Honor System.

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