ETHICS: Why good people do bad things

Written on May 01, 2020

By Nicole Fracasso, OSCPA communications intern

Accounting is one of the most trusted professions for a reason, said Tiffany Crosby, CPA, Director of Learning at OSCPA. People expect integrity and honesty from a CPA, but nevertheless sometimes good people do bad things.

Crosby defines ethics as doing what is right, even if it has great personal cost associated with it. For example, it can relate to something as small as claiming CPE for sessions they didn’t attend, or something as large as fraud.

With the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, it’s important to remember that ethics plays a role here as well. According to Crosby, professionals sometimes think they can blame the computer, but that is not the case.

“We’re responsible for the decisions that we make but we’re also responsible for the decisions computers make on our behalf,” she said.

A lot of the time bad decisions are made when someone is under a great deal of stress, she said. If anyone is ever in this situation, OSCPA is here to help.

“The best thing to do in this situation is consult with someone who doesn’t have vested interest in the outcome, someone who is able to step back and answer the difficult questions,” she said. “They can call us to have that discussion.”

To learn more about how to prepare for these situations, register for Why good people do bad things on March 4, hosted by the Japan America Society of Greater Cincinnati.

Leave a comment