Spending time on social networks appears to be normal behavior at most workplaces. Employers need to deal with its risks and minimize its costs. Employees should consider the potential ramifications of every post they make.
The Dodd-Frank Act expanded existing whistleblower programs, providing cash rewards for significant information given to the SEC. Despite these efforts to stimulate whistleblowing, companies are putting limits on how much (or how little) their employees can report fraud.
A new study shows that the ethical behavior of younger workers differs from that of older generations. Business leaders should strengthen their ethics and compliance programs to address these differences.
Companies that take advantage of the varied tax laws of different countries to limit their tax payments claim they're maximizing shareholder returns. The result is that US companies hold huge cash reserves in countries with low tax rates.
The DOJ and SEC recently published a guide that provides insight into the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and how the agencies carry out their ongoing fight against corruption within companies throughout the world.
The latest Kroll "Global Fraud Report" shows the incidence and cost of fraud have decreased over the last year, yet fraud still remains an important issue for all companies around the world. And a DOJ suit against Standard & Poor's highlights the need for oversight of the credit rating industry.
The tax rates and policies on income from dividends and long-term capital gains lead to some unintended negative consequences. In trying to help stamp out fraud in financial reporting and add more fairness into the tax system, closer examination of these policies is warranted.
Surveys highlight increased prevalence and value of sustainability and corporate responsibility reporting for public companies, but lack of standardization and notable failures show that more needs to be done before these reports can be truly reliable.
The IESBA has issued an exposure draft intended to encourage accountants to blow the whistle on unethical companies or individuals; some of the changes may conflict with other ethical responsibilities.
Sometimes overlooked in the debate about SOX are the contributions it has made in generating a greater focus on improved corporate governance and stronger ethics and compliance programs. Needed improvement in audit quality is a continuing concern.
Findings from a survey of ethics in the workplace may portend a future downward shift in business ethics. The percentage of companies with a weak ethical culture is on the rise, as is the number of employees who experienced retaliation for blowing the whistle on observed misconduct.
Regulatory downgrading of the role of credit raters is misguided. Development of ethical and professional standards would make information needed by investors more useful and reliable. The culpability of credit rating agencies in contributing to the financial crisis has been debated, but without conclusive agreement.
Concerns about cheating in school are nothing new, but they usually don't include teachers. The widespread scandals of teachers cheating on standardized tests provide the wrong ethical guidance to those who will later staff and lead business organizations.
Significant losses by banks have demonstrated the need for improved risk management and internal controls to avoid past mistakes. To be successful, these changes require a stronger ethical culture, not more of the same regulatory actions that failed in the past.
Trust is a vital element of business, yet it's difficult to measure and often gets overlooked. Two research groups have devised their own rating systems to determine which companies are most trustworthy.
As the auditor of Lehman Brothers, Ernst & Young approved the use of Repo 105 transactions. These transactions were characterized as sales of assets and created a misleading picture of Lehman's financial position during the financial meltdown.