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CPA, Business Ethics Focused On Transparency, Accountability


What does being ethical look like? This could vary, depending on who you ask. Ethics may also vary from industry to industry, or even from company to company.

Certified public accountants (CPAs) work with money. They help people and businesses handle their finances. So what do ethics look like in this regard?

Younger workers in their 20s prioritize responsibility, especially toward the local community. They also view ethics as protecting data and following all regulations. Older people, such as Generation Z and millennials, expect companies to take measurable action when faced with issues. Sweeping issues under the rug and ignoring them is a huge no-no.

While the majority of those in their 20s say that business ethics is more important now than it was five years ago, they are also less optimistic that businesses will comply with rules and regulations.

These findings are based on the results of a survey of 1,820 adults in the United States and United Kingdom. The survey was done to understand expectations around ethical behavior, especially among various age groups.

In general, workers seemed to agree that business ethics meant doing the right thing, being honest and truthful, acting with transparency, and abiding by moral principles. Those who responded to the survey were most concerned about discrimination/harassment and corruption. In comparison, the top concerns of business leaders were environmental responsibility and technology and privacy practices. 

Younger employees are mindful of what CEOs say vs. what they do. They believe that ethical behavior is rooted in measurable action, and not just words. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

Business leaders need to be aware of the effectiveness of ethics training. They may find it to be very effective, while most young workers don’t find that the training prepares them to navigate ethical issues at work.

Here are some other findings from the survey:

  • More than 70% of survey respondents say that business ethics is becoming more and more important.
  • More than 40% of employees have been faced with an ethical dilemma at work, with not much help from management, as 36% of business leaders have been encouraged to cut ethical corners often.
  • Only about 25% of future talent feels “very prepared” to navigate an ethical work dilemma.
  • Most employees (88%) are familiar with their company’s code of ethics.
  • When faced with an ethical work dilemma, everyone is most likely to ask their manager for advice. 

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Certified Public Accountant Licensing Lawyer

Young workers and customers say that being accountable and transparent are signs of ethical behavior among companies. When companies try to hide things and be deceitful, it’s concerning to everyone involved.

When CPAs and other licensed professionals come across issues in their work, it’s important that they take action. Otherwise, their license could be affected. A Tampa certified public accountant licensing lawyer from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. can assist you with licensing issues. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (813) 968-6633.