Friday, February 22, 2013

Establishing an Ethical Culture in a Tax Practice

The United States is conflicted about ethical behavior. Americans want people to be grounded in right behavior, but they collectively celebrate and admire people who skate close to the edge, or cross the line, on ethical behavior.
This attitude within society can and does affect individual behavior. But the thinking that something is all right because everybody does it needs to go away. More than this, individuals must have ethical values that match their actions.
Often, asking the following two questions is a good place to start in analyzing an ethical issue:
  • Does the decision feel like the right thing to do?
  • Can the decision be defended with confidence publicly?
The CPA profession is filled with individuals who know right from wrong. It is time to develop a business culture that is ethically strong. Every organization, including professional firms, operates within an organizational culture. Inherent in that culture is a code of conduct that influences the behavior of individuals within the organization.
This column offers practical suggestions for ways a professional firm can communicate, reinforce, and monitor its code of conduct in tax practice. Ultimately, it is the firm’s responsibility to ensure that its employees act consistently with these principles.

To read the full article click here 

Source: Diane D. Fuller , CPA, and Nancy K. Hyde, CPA , CVA

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