The Foundation of Every Business: Ethics

What makes a business successful? There are many reasons a business may be successful, but I think you will agree that the business’ ethics is the key to business success. As a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner, the spotlight is always on our firm.  We do not claim infallibility, but we strive for excellence in all we do.  Our clients bring very sensitive information for compilation and presentation in financial statements and tax return preparation.  Each client understands that their information is considered private and is well protected from any unauthorized distribution.

Income tax preparation for 2017 is underway.  The IRS says it will begin receiving tax returns on January 29. I am reasonably confident that many of our clients will have their taxes prepared and ready for delivery on that date.  Still, there will be others who will not bring their information until later.  All of our clients are treated with the same professional ethics.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants require continuing education for each person who holds the esteem of being a CPA.  Required courses are offered by many     educational companies. We are required to take courses annually for a total of 40 hours.  Those courses include Ethics, Finan- cial Statement Preparation (Compilation and Review of Financial State- ments), Audit of Financial Statements, Tax law and various specific courses commensurate with the field of accounting in which we work.  Each CPA is subject to Peer Review.  Reviewers examine the work of the CPA in increments of 3 years.  Therefore; the CPA’s work is examined and must pass rigorous scrutiny of examination.  I think it is important that our clients and potential clients understand our guidance and our dedication to excellence. Each client can be assured that information provided to us will be reported fairly and in accordance with applicable laws.  That is our promise. It is important to our clients, it is important to us.  There was a time when a person’s word was his bond.  Things are changing but not for better.

There is a great turmoil in our world.  It is difficult to understand why so many people are untrustworthy.  There is an obvious lack of ethics.  The tenor in Congress and politics creates unrest. Who do you trust? Our county is inhabited by people who are unscrupulous.  Some of them are immigrants others are life-time citizens.  What is happening to our country? “There was a time when strangers were welcome here.” (Neil Sedaka) America has always been an “open door” country. What has changed?  There was a time when people came to America for refuge.  Now many come here to create mayhem. It is obvious that ethics are waning. Section 882.1 of the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines describes elements of an effective ethics and compliance program as requiring an organization to “promote an organizational culture that encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to compliance with the law.” That is applicable to all who live in America and actually would be good for each business and individual to commit to.  I fear that our greatest failure is taking God out of schools, business and homes. A strong ethical culture leads to many favorable strategic outcomes, including greater efficiency and employee productivity resulting from shared organizational core values. These benefits fall directly to the bottom line and can attract superior employees, reduce turnover, and achieve a lower cost of capital. A strong ethical culture also mitigates against risks of unethical behavior that can quickly diminish the reputation value of a brand that has been built up over decades and a country whose mantra is “In God We Trust.”  Do you think a wall is necessary?
For more information, call Wilson & Wilson, PC, CPA, CFE at 615-673-1330   or  email  jim@