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Using An Ethical GPS To Guide CPAs And Other Business Professionals


We were taught right from wrong as a child, but sometimes morality is not so cut and dry in the real world. Even if you’re a licensed financial professional such as a CPA, you may not be entirely sure if what you’re doing is acceptable.

It’s not always easy to know the right thing to do. A decision you make can affect you, your co-workers, your manager, your customers, and even the entire company. This is especially true in accounting and other financial fields, where just one mistake can easily ruin a company’s reputation.

So when you face an ethical dilemma, what can you do? This ethical GPS can guide you so you make the right decisions.

Is it an Ethical Dilemma?

Are you facing an issue that goes against your principles or values? What is important to you? Is your situation causing you to go against your values?

Determine Stakeholders

A stakeholder is anyone who could be affected by your action. It could be anyone within the business or someone outside of it, such as customers.

What Are Your Obligations?

Licensed professionals have certain obligations to the company and others. For example, CPAs have a duty to serve the public interest. They have a responsibility to clients, managers, investors, and outside regulatory bodies. Failure to uphold their duties could cost them their job and/or license.

Ask Others

If you’re unsure about something, consult with advisors before making a decision. They will give you good information and (hopefully) tell you if you’re wrong.

Analyze Your Options

Figure out what options you have for resolving the issue and determine the pros and cons of each. Then, pick the one that makes the most sense based on the facts involved as well as your general gut feeling.

Be Clear and Decisive

Whatever the next steps are, be clear about them. Don’t delay the process. Your decision may cause you to go against a manager’s wishes or deliver bad news to a client. Don’t prolong the process. Be clear and decisive so you don’t have a dilemma hanging over your head.

Review Your Decision

After making your decision, look back and determine whether or not you could have done anything differently. Being ethical is not easy. Once you have to make ethical decisions on a regular basis, it will become easier. For now, though, find out what lessons you have learned from the process and you’ll soon be making decisions like a pro.

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

In financial industries such as accounting, understanding what is and what is not ethical behavior is extremely important. Not understanding the difference can cause you to lose your license.

If you’re dealing with administrative issues, a Tampa certified public accountant licensing lawyer from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. can help. I have more than 30 years of experience in the field. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (813) 968-6633.