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CPE session

    Ali Abdolmohammadi
    Ethics Boot Camp
    CPE session posted July 22, 2010 by Ali Abdolmohammadi, last edited April 18, 2012 by Judy Cothern 
    2866 Views, 24 Comments
    Ethics Boot Camp
    leader(s), affiliation(s):
    Presenters: Mohammad Abdolmohammadi, Bentley University; Janell Blazovich, University of St. Thomas – Minnesota; Jim Gaa, University of Alberta; Dawn Massey, Fairfield University; Murphy Smith, Texas A&M University; Bill Thomas, Baylor University; Joan Van Hise, Fairfield University
    session description:

    This CPE session focuses on practical ways to teach ethics to enable accounting educators to meet NASBA's call for 3 credits of ethics education for accounting graduates. Participants are introduced to the literature on ethics education in accounting and to the syllabi and methods used successfully by accounting educators to teach ethics.

    Session Time: 1:00--4:30 pm PDT

    July 31, 2010 4:00pm - 7:30pm


    • Anton Du Toit


      It was a real wonderful opportunity to join you for this CPE session.

      Just for interesting sake, in South Africa, our South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has prescribed professional ethics as part of our curriculum for a prospective Chartered Accountant, and as they accredit universities, we all have to comply with the this requirement.

      For that reason, I attach the file containing the syllabi requirements, as well as my university's interpretation in the semester course AFW2700, the unit outline (I attach 2009 as I don't have the latest one on this computer). (See a second post with the second file)

      I hope and believe it can assist some of you in designing ethics courses, as this has been very well researched in South Africa and a common textbook was also written, used by all the universities.

      You are welcome to contact me at if I could be of more assistance. I am here until Wednesday, 4 August.

      Kind regards

      Anton du Toit

      Director: Accountancy Studies, Monash South Africa

    • Anton Du Toit


      Here is the second file I talked about: my university's interpretation in the semester course AFW2700, the unit outline (I attach 2009 as I don't have the latest one on this computer). 

      You are welcome to contact me at if I could be of more assistance. I am here until Wednesday, 4 August.

      Kind regards

      Anton du Toit

      Director: Accountancy Studies, Monash South Africa

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Video: Trapped (A Must See!)," by Nadine Sabai, Sleight of Hand Blog, November 29, 2010 ---

      Summary (Via Cato Institute):

      Trapped: When Acting Ethically Is against the Law featuring John Hasnas, a Professor of Law and Ethics at Georgetown University Business School and with comments by Alice Fisher, Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Law Division at the Department of Justice.

      Since Enron's collapse in 2002, the federal government has stepped up its campaign against white-collar crime. In "Trapped: When Acting Ethically Is against the Law", John Hasnas compellingly illustrates how the campaign against corporate fraud has gone overboard. Hasnas debunks the common assumption that the law only mandates ethical behavior. That may have been true 20 years ago, but no longer. Hasnas points out that business executives have responsibilities to their stockholders, employees, customers, and suppliers. And in addition to their contractual obligations, CEOs have ordinary ethical obligations as human beings to honor their informal commitments. Those ethical complexities are rarely acknowledged by contemporary federal policies that demand compliance with myriad rules and regulations. The result is increasingly a Catch-22 situation in which businesspeople must act either unethically or illegally.

      Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates are at


    • Robert E Jensen

      One Way a Professor Can Become a Felon

      "Prof Accused of Billing University for Travel as Consultant," Inside Highe Ed, February 4, 2011 ---

      Dov Borovsky, a professor of entomology at the University of Florida, was arrested last week on felony charges of grand theft and fraud based on his expense reimbursement claims, The Gainesville Sun reported. According to authorities, Borovsky took three trips to Malaysia as a consultant to a company based there, was reimbursed by the company for the travel, but also submitted expense forms to the university for travel reimbursement. Borovsky, whom the university has placed on leave, could not be reached for comment.

      Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at

    • Robert E Jensen

      "How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs," by Ed Vulliamy, The Guardian, April 3, 2011 ---
      |Thank you Robert Walker for the heads up.

      As the violence spread, billions of dollars of cartel cash began to seep into the global financial system. But a special investigation by the Observer reveals how the increasingly frantic warnings of one London whistleblower were ignored

      On 10 April 2006, a DC-9 jet landed in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, on the Gulf of Mexico, as the sun was setting. Mexican soldiers, waiting to intercept it, found 128 cases packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100m. But something else – more important and far-reaching – was discovered in the paper trail behind the purchase of the plane by the Sinaloa narco-trafficking cartel.

      During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that the cocaine smugglers had bought the plane with money they had laundered through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo.

      The authorities uncovered billions of dollars in wire transfers, traveller's cheques and cash shipments through Mexican exchanges into Wachovia accounts. Wachovia was put under immediate investigation for failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering programme. Of special significance was that the period concerned began in 2004, which coincided with the first escalation of violence along the US-Mexico border that ignited the current drugs war.

      Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia, though not against any individual, but the case never came to court. In March 2010, Wachovia settled the biggest action brought under the US bank secrecy act, through the US district court in Miami. Now that the year's "deferred prosecution" has expired, the bank is in effect in the clear. It paid federal authorities $110m in forfeiture, for allowing transactions later proved to be connected to drug smuggling, and incurred a $50m fine for failing to monitor cash used to ship 22 tons of cocaine.

      More shocking, and more important, the bank was sanctioned for failing to apply the proper anti-laundering strictures to the transfer of $378.4bn – a sum equivalent to one-third of Mexico's gross national product – into dollar accounts from so-called casas de cambio (CDCs) in Mexico, currency exchange houses with which the bank did business.

      "Wachovia's blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations," said Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor. Yet the total fine was less than 2% of the bank's $12.3bn profit for 2009. On 24 March 2010, Wells Fargo stock traded at $30.86 – up 1% on the week of the court settlement.

      Continued in article

      Bob Jensen's threads on how the big banks and brokerages are often Rotten to the Core ---

      Note that I've closed the March 31, 2011 edition of FraudUpdates ---

    • Robert E Jensen

      The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) has released its 2011-2012 IESBA Strategy and Work Plan, which sets the direction and priorities for the activities of the IESBA.---

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Ex-BDO Seidman Partner Favato Gets 18 Months for Tax Crimes," by David Voreacos, Bloomberg Business Week, April 16, 2012 ---

      Bob Jensen's threads on BDO Seidman ---

    • Robert E Jensen

      "When Should Accountants Spill the Beans? A new code of ethics puts finance chiefs on the hook to report suspected fraud to corporate boards,"
      by Kathleen Hoffelder,, September 6, 2012 ---

      Under proposed changes to a global ethics code for accountants, while auditors must report a suspected fraud to outside authorities, management accountants need only report their suspicions internally. At the same time, if corporate accountants spill the beans to CFOs, finance chiefs must report what they’ve learned to other senior executives and the audit committee of the board.

      As a matter of principle, corporate accountants have always maintained a degree of confidentiality about companies’ finances. But there has never been any guidance concerning when that confidentiality should be breached.

      In the case of suspected fraud or other illegal acts, however, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), an independent standard-setting board, is finally suggesting new steps that different accountants should take to disclose that information to management, the board, or external sources. Last month the IESBA issued an exposure draft on how professional accountants should disclose suspected illegal acts committed by a client or employer. The draft adds changes to the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, which was first revised in 2009.

      The IESBA exposure draft distinguishes between auditors and corporate and other professional accountants. If the suspected illegal act affects financial reporting or is within the expertise of the auditor, the auditor would be required to discuss the issue with management and the audit committee. If the response within the company is, in the auditor’s judgment, “not appropriate” and “of such consequence that disclosure would be in the public interest,” the auditor must disclose the suspected illegalities to “appropriate” external authorities, according to the proposal.

      For other professional accountants, including those who work for corporations, the approach would be similar except for one thing: while auditors are required to report to an appropriate authority, staff and other accountants serving the company would be only obliged to discuss it with management and the audit committee.

      “For accountants, it is not a requirement to disclose to an appropriate authority; it’s a right they are expected to exercise,” explains an official at the IESBA. “We recognize the fact there are accountants at all levels within the organization,” the official adds. “For an accountant in business to have a requirement to always report out might be going a little far, so that’s why we have that slightly different test.”

      All this added responsibility for accountants, however, is not expected to lessen the role CFOs must play in ensuring their company’s financial reporting runs as accurately as possible.

      If a finance chief is told by his or her staff accountant about a suspected illegal act, the CFO would be governed by the same code of ethics, since he or she is in the accounting reporting chain. “All professional accountants have a part to play here if they encounter a suspected illegal act. A distinguishing mark of the accounting profession is its responsibility of acting in the public interest,” says the IESBA official. (

      Continued in article

      Bob Jensen's threads on whistle blowing ---


    • Robert E Jensen

      "Who is Telling the Truth?  The Fact Wars" as written on the Cover of Time Magazine

      Jensen Comment
      Both U.S. presidential candidates are spending tends of millions of dollars to spread lies and deceptions.
      Both are alleged Christian gentlemen, a faith where big lies are sins jeopardizing the immortal soul.
      The race boils down to the sad fact that the biggest Christian liar will win the race for the presidency in November 2012.

      "Who is Telling the Truth?  The Fact Wars:  ," as written on the Cover of Time Magazine
      "Blue Truth-Red Truth: Both candidates say White House hopefuls should talk straight with voters. Here's why neither man is ready to take his own advice ,"
      by Michael Scherer (and Alex Altma), Time Magazine Cover Story, October 15, 2012, pp. 24-30 ---

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Does Everyone Lie? Are we a Culture of Liars?" by accounting professor Steven Mintz, Ethics Sage, February 1, 2013 ---

      Bob Jensen's threads on professionalism and ethics in auditing ---

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Does an 'A' in Ethics Have Any Value? B-Schools Step Up Efforts to Tie Moral Principles to Their Business Programs, but Quantifying Those Virtues Is Tough," by Melissa Korn, The Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2013 ---

      Business-school professors are making a morality play.

      Four years after the scandals of the financial crisis prompted deans and faculty to re-examine how they teach ethics, some academics say they still haven't gotten it right.

      Hoping to prevent another Bernard L. Madoff-like scandal or insider-trading debacle, a group of schools, led by University of Colorado's Leeds School of Business in Boulder, is trying to generate support for more ethics teaching in business programs. [image] Richard Mia

      "Business schools have been giving students some education in ethics for at least the past 25 or 30 years, and we still have these problems," such as irresponsibly risky bets or manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, says John Delaney, dean of University of Pittsburgh's College of Business Administration and Katz Graduate School of Business. Related

      Can Globalization Be Taught in B-School? B-Schools Give Extra Help for Foreign M.B.A.s

      He joined faculty and administrators from Massachusetts' Babson College, Michigan State University and other schools in Colorado last summer in what he says is an effort to move schools from talk to action. The Colorado consortium is holding conference calls and is exploring another meeting later this year as it exchanges ideas on program design, course content and how to build support among other faculty members.

      But some efforts are at risk of stalling at the discussion stage, since teaching business ethics faces roadblocks from faculty and recruiters alike. Some professors see ethics as separate from their own subjects, such as accounting or marketing, and companies have their own training programs for new hires.

      A strong ethics education can help counteract a narrowing worldview that often accompanies a student's progression through business school, supporters in academia say. Surveys conducted by the Aspen Institute, a think tank, show that about 60% of new M.B.A. students view maximizing shareholder value as the primary responsibility of a company; that number rises to 69% by the time they reach the program's midpoint.

      Though maximizing shareholder returns isn't a bad goal in itself, focusing on that at the expense of customer satisfaction, employee well-being or environmental considerations can be dangerous.

      Without tying ethics to a business curriculum, "we are graduating students who are very myopic in their decision-making," says Diane Swanson, founding chair of the Business Ethics Education Initiative at Kansas State University.

      Stand-alone ethics courses are a start, but they "compartmentalize" the issue for students, as if ethical questions aren't applicable to all business disciplines, says David Ikenberry, dean of University of Colorado's Leeds School.

      Some schools are experimenting with a more integrated approach. This fall, Boston University's School of Management is introducing a required ethics course for freshman business students, and is also tasking instructors in other business classes to incorporate ethics into their lessons. It may also overhaul a senior seminar to reinforce ethics topics.

      "We need to hit the students hard when they first get here, remind them of these principles throughout their core classes, and hit them once again before they leave," says Kabrina Chang, an assistant professor at Boston University's business school, who is coordinating the new freshman class.

      Students likely know right from wrong, so rather than, say, discussing whether a student would turn in a roommate caught stealing, Ms. Chang says she'll lead a debate on how or if a student might maintain a relationship with the thief.

      Students may find the roommate-thief scenario more relevant than a re-examination of recent Ponzi schemes, but many remain skeptical of how such discussions apply to real life.

      As one M.B.A. wrote last year on College Confidential, an online message board, "It's not like Johnny is going to be at the cusp of committing fraud and then think back to his b-school days and think, "gee, Professor Goody Two Shoes wouldn't approve."

      What's more, schools can't calculate the moral well-being of their graduates the same way they can quantify financial success or technical acumen. One of the few rankings available—the Aspen Institute's "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" report—was suspended last year, in part because researchers could not determine the net benefit of ethics courses. Without demonstrable returns, there's little incentive for deans to add classes and instructors.

      Employers, who have in the past pushed schools to add more hands-on training and global coursework, could successfully agitate for more ethics instruction. But many companies say completing an ethics course won't make or break a hiring decision—especially since firms tend to offer their own training for new hires.

      Continued in article

      This article also has a video.

      Bob Jensen's threads on ethics ---



    • Robert E Jensen

      This year, NASBA will fund and award a maximum of three grants totaling up to $25,000 for one-year research projects. Faculty and postdoctoral researchers at U.S. academic institutions are encouraged to submit proposals for consideration.
      "NASBA Offers Accounting Research Grants," Accounting Today, February 12, 2013 ---

      Jensen Comment
      In light of the lengthy thread we had on the role of ethics education on ethics behavior, perhaps the time is ripe to propose a study of the impact on ethics behavior and education of the increased frequency of ethics modules on CPA examinations. One question might be how to best examine ethics issues on these examinations.