Last Saturday, I interviewed Mrs. Lee. We talked about the basic rules that an accountant has to obey. I learned a lot from the interview, especially about the professional ethics code. In recent years, due to accounting delinquency ratio increased annually, accounting professional ethics issue has grown extensively world wide. There are three prominent major issues of the current accounting ethics status. The three issues are: false accounting information, chaos financial management and duty crime. Beside intentional crimes, every day accountants have to face the ethical choices that caused by the implicit rules and moral standers. Mrs. Lee held the point that trying to avoid the conflict is impossible. As a smart accountant, making a balance between the moral principle and the interest should be the essential surviving ability, especially for certificated public accountants. Although Mrs. Lee warned me at advance, however she did not mean to encourage me violating the professional ethic code. In fact, as my peer she wanted me to be honesty and always live up to the ideals of truth. To help me better understand the duty and common issues in public accounting, Mrs Lee recommended me an article, Ethical Issues in Outsourcing Accounting and Tax Services, by PhD Robert W. McGee. She thinks the article has covered some critical issues in real life and the context is not very hard for an accounting student to understand.
Accounting is a cost-focused business tool. The purpose of accounting is clarifying the financial status of an organization or individual, in order to instantiate the problems in capital operation. For most instances, ethical issues happened because of cost controlling. Especially most companies or business people will use any possible methods to control their costs, including public accounting firms or independent accountants. In the article, McGee makes accounting outsourcing as an example to explain accounting issues. McGee thinks that the clients' confidential information could be give to third-parties without their knowledge. In the fifth paragraph, a brief introduction of the negligence of duty in accounting outsourcing has been wrote, "accountants use outsourcing to avail themselves of expertise that their firm does not possess and to cut the cost of providing certain basic services like data processing, bookkeeping and tax preparation. But when they do that they turn over confidential client information to outsiders. That raises some ethical issues."[i] Unfortunately, there are no effective ways to control accounting outsourcing issues from happening, for the AICPA has no enforcement power. In the seventh paragraph of his article, McGee writes, "Ethics Interpretations and Rulings promulgated by the AICPA do not have the force of law. At most, they are binding only on AICPA members, and even then an AICPA member is free to disregard ethics interpretations and rulings, provided they can carry the burden of justifying their departure in a disciplinary hearing."[ii] The cost of delinquency in outsourcing accounting is very low. Comparing to spend extra money on labor and other costs, the risk of fail performing duty is not a big deal to many accounting firms.
Ethical Issues in Outsourcing Accounting and Tax Services is an article for professional accountant and business practitioners, and the readers of the article are probably with a seriously mood during their reading. So the whole article uses Logos and Ethos in the most part. Also because the article tries to explain and research professional accounting problems. Therefore logic and facts are the most important things. However, emotions are not very helpful on presenting the facts and being logical. That is why the author does not want to use Pathos in his article. There are many citations in the article, which evidently improved the credibility of it. The article is wrote in a professional tone. McGee divides the article into six sections, they are: Abstract, Instruction, Integrity and Objectivity, Compliance with Standards, Confidential Client Information and Conclusion Comments. Each section talks about one topic, makes the readers clear on facts and keep up with the author's points.
Process analysis: Process analysis explores how a phenomena works. In the sixth paragraph, McGee describes and explains how accounting outsourcing has been approved by the AICPA and the lawful date of the AICPA's pronouncement on accounting outsourcing. McGee has presented as many details as he can to the readers. At the beginning of the sixth paragraph, McGee puts the effort the AICPA has done on examining the effect of outsourcing of accounting and tax services. The examination and rules making progress started from early 2004, and ended on October 28, 2004. Through the process, the readers can tell that the AICPA was quite careful.
Definition: Definitions are used to clarify abstractions, explain unfamiliar terms, or distinguish one idea from another similar idea. The tenth paragraph is a definition that declares the service areas of accounting outsourcing. Basically, "The requirement to inform clients of the possible use of third-party service providers does not extend to all services, however. Notification need not be given if third-parties are used to provide administrative support services such as record storage or software application hosting services."[iii] The declaration is very important to people who are not professional accountants. It makes sure that all readers know what accountancy services can be outsourced and what can not, which are critical for the readers if they want to understand the content of the article.
The definition is the mostly frequent used strategy in the article. McGee has cited four rules from the AICPA's Professional Ethics Executive Committee Ethics Rulings. Those rulings give the readers detailed stipulations of how accounting outsourcing should be preformed and the effect it has on integrity, objectivity, compliance with standards and confidential client information. The citations of rulings make the author's points clear and credible, and extend the readers' knowledge with authoritative accounting information.