America is experiencing what some perceive to be a crisis of confidence in the way business operates. A wave of scandals is impacting public trust across the entire spectrum of the marketplace as consumers, employees and stockholders question whether they can trust businesses to adhere to high standards of behavior.
Unfortunately, the accounting profession is in the thick of this mistrust.
To help identify those businesses that exhibit high moral and ethical standards, the Council of Better Business Bureaus is holding a National Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics competition, and it is a great opportunity for local CPA firms to make a strong, positive public relations statement in your local community.
The award is open to for-profit businesses that provide goods or services to retail and wholesale markets (located in the U.S., Canada or communities in Mexico served by BBBs). Firms of any size are eligible to participate.
"It was like wearing the World Heavyweight Boxing Belt, while holding the Super Bowl Trophy and drinking champagne from the Stanley Cup," according to Packer Thomas, a Youngstown, OH accounting firm, winner of the 2001 BBB National Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.
If your firm is looking for a positive way to make a statement in your community, this could be just the avenue to do it.
There is a $50 entry fee, and the deadline for submissions is April 8, 2002. Go to the Council of Better Business Bureau's Web site or contact them at 703-247-9312 for details.
Note: If you think this program is a good idea for your organization, e-mail a copy of this article to someone who can take ownership of the project and get it done in the next couple of weeks. Good luck!