Psychopaths in Accounting

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As if the recession was not enough, now we have to worry about psychopaths in accounting firms? In the article Keep Psychopaths out of Your Accounting Firm in the AICPA Career Insider, Mitchell Langbert points out that “psychopaths represent about one percent of the general population, but comprise about 3.5 percent of high-potential corporate employees.” Few people will argue with his assessment that the percentage of upper management with psychopathic traits is probably higher still.

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Read Snakes in Suits, Almost A Psychopath, and/or Without Conscience. It's no joke. We think of psychopaths as criminals, killers, etc., yet there are those who demonstrate shallow emotional affect, no empathy, take no personal responsibility, lie unashamedly, ooze glibness and charm, and demonstrate no conscience. To some, they're "rock stars". To those who see beyond the façade, they may well be something far worse. They'll steal credit for others' contributions, behave like pigs at the trough at evaluation/compensation time, and have no qualms about looking good at someone else's expense.