Accounting Irregularities at WorldCom and Arthur Andersen…No More: What Went Wrong?

Essay by masterdrUniversity, Bachelor'sA, March 2008

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Executive Summary

Business ethics is an area of ethics that examines ethical rules and principles within a commercial perspective using cases such as: Accounting Irregularities at WorldCom and Arthur Andersen…No More: What Went Wrong? (Business Ethics 4th Ed: Cases 5 & 6 pg.101-109), both clearly present various moral and ethical problems that arise that are real life business scenarios as well as question the impact of certain 'special' duties/obligations that apply to particular individuals and employees who choose to engage in these activities in the organization leading to their downfall. The WorldCom case and scandal occurred because accountants as well as former CEO Bernie Ebbers and Scott Sullivan failed to live the virtues of accountancy as well as failed to adhere to the moral principles and ideals of their profession and further analysis reveals the ways in which these irregular accounting practices were carried out along with the consequences and charges laid by investigators such as conspiracy, fraud and many false claims regarding their accounts and profitability.

The Arthur Andersen…No More: What Went Wrong? case is another scenario where a series of unethical accounting practices resulted in the firm's decline and the role they played in the accounting fraud at Enron. The way in which these corrupt practices took place is an obvious indication of the culture of the organization and the moral standings of employees, close relationships which affected both the company and clients such as Enron.

Understanding business ethics in these cases we used ethical decision making frameworks such as the Triple Font Theory, Double Effect as well as Formal and Material points.

Case 5 & 6 History :

Accounting Irregularities at WorldCom

Bernard J. (Bernie) Ebbers from the beginning "was a man who believed in himself and his company" a statement which was best expressed by the...