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Ethics Article Review

980 words - 4 pages

IntroductionThis paper will review the article Through the Ethics Looking Glass: Another View of the World of Auditors and Ethics. This article was authored by Roger D. Martin and appeared in the Journal of Business Ethics in January 2007. As the title implies, this article deals with the ethical considerations faced by the audit profession.Article SummaryThe first part of the article discusses the requirement that auditors must be "looking within" the organization. In other words the auditors must be independent (outside, looking in) of the firm being audited. This does not refers to the obvious problem of being employed by the firm being audited but rather the conflict of interest issues ...view middle of the document...

" (Martin)Auditors need to look at the ethics of a client and evaluate the potential for fraud. Auditors use the "fraud triangle" in this evaluation:•Is there an incentive to commit fraud?•Opportunities to commit fraud.•Rationalizations for committing fraud.Auditors need to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate the environment when performing an audit.The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires management and auditors to state their opinion of the effectiveness of internal controls. Auditors and management are now no longer faceless entities. They have an almost personal stake in the strength of the controls within the organization.Article Related to the ReadingsThe article makes repeated references to the financial statements the auditors are to scrutinize. The first chapters in the text deal with accounting environment. These readings introduce financial statements. The importance of the individual statements is discussed and the interrelationship between the statements and how they are used to make informed decisions on the strength of the organization is related. One of the points in the text discusses the importance of having confidence in the statements. Investors use these statements as critical decision making tools when making investment decisions. Without confidence in the validity of these documents, investors would be reluctant to part with their money. One only needs to look to Enron, WorldCom, and Arthur Anderson to see the reality of this. Arthur Anderson destroyed themselves by missing ethical violations. As auditors they missed (or disregarded) the "fraud triangle" discussed in the article.Without the confidence of the public in the accounting and auditing principles discussed in the reading and the article, business would die from lack of investment. As a general rule, people are not willing to hand over vast amounts of money, or for that matter, their pocket change, to organizations they have no confidence...

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