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Personal Ethics in the Workplace

Belith Trujillo

Financial Accounting 2010

April 12th, 2019

Salt Lake Community College

Personal Ethics in the Workplace


Personal ethics is a unique concept because what might be something right to someone

could be wrong to someone else. A lot of philosophers and creative thinkers have asked

continuously what is right, what is wrong, and try to define the thin line between both. In this

paper, we are going to read about how personal ethics affect an organization's financial reporting

decisions in my opinion.

What Are Workplace Ethics?

Involving ethics in the workplace is challenging. While the workplace expects certain

ethical practices from each employee such as honesty, integrity, and respect certain situations

arise where a manual does not specify what to do. These situations can become challenging

because of ethics and other factors involved.

An example of this is that you are sent to retrieve the CEO's laptop. You and the CEO

have grown quite close, and you feel there is a promotion heading your way. However, upon

approaching the computer, you find there are messages about stealing money from the company

by not reporting sales accurately in the financial statements. How would you react to this

situation? See, there are many factors at play here. There is the fact that you read into someone's

personal belongings, that person is your superior, you are looking for the promotion, and there is

information that could be leaked and affect the company majorly if you don't tell anyone. These

hard situations are when it's hard to know what the right thing to do is.

On the one hand, you can claim to be oblivious to the situation. On the other, you can

report the CEO. However, since he is so high in the command chain, it's challenging to know

who to notify. As we have learned in class, it's crucial to have correct accounting methods
because it's considered fraud. What this example focuses on is the misappropriation of assets.

They are stealing money from their company and cover it up by falsifying documents. Hence,

when an employee of the company knows this behavior is about to happen or is happening and

decides not to report it, it becomes a big problem for the company since they are losing money.

The company is then found to be guided by the employees because then they need to

make sure that all accounting is done correctly and everyone is being overlooked, which is why

they set all these safeguards and internal controls. The company is consistently making new

ways to check the employees are doing what they are supposed to and following the code of

ethics. Consequently, the company will always be affected by the employee's ethics and conduct.

Therefore, personal ethics are tightly knit with financial reporting. That is why one of the

internal control procedures that a company has it to make sure they are hiring the correct people

and giving them the proper training. With hiring one wrong person, as the video showed us could

cost a company up to $3,000,000.


As we have discussed, certain situations are going to test your ethics. Not only in just

everyday life but in the workplace as well. There are certain situations where one might feel like

there is no clear answer to a particular ethical dilemma. However, a company can prepare for

such cases by providing the right training and transparent procedures.