Business in Ethics

Essay by billyg May 2005

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While searching the web looking for an article to base my ethics paper on, I was amazed at how much information is out there concerning ethical business practices. What was even more amazing was how many articles I came across about companies and businesses that have been under fire for using unethical business practices. It seems like it's not that uncommon for a company to try to get away with something just to make or save an extra buck. In the long run, it ends up costing them a lot more, especially when it comes to finding ways to not pay taxes. The IRS does not take to this lightly and companies, along with the accounting firms who handled the taxes, end up paying more in the end.

The article I settled on using for this assignment discusses how accounting firms, particularly Ernst & Young LLP, find "strategies" for their clients to legally avoid paying taxes and save millions of dollars.

The problem with these so called strategies is that they are not as legal as the accounting firm leads their clients to believe and the IRS is taking notice. The article states in one example that three owners of a computer business met with Ernst and Young in a private meeting and were asked to sign papers agreeing not to tell anyone about their strategy to save on taxes. This should have been warning sign number one. After the meeting the three colleagues were not allowed to take any documentation with them to review, warning sign number two. The accounting firm then told the gentlemen the strategy would be hidden from the IRS, warning sign number three. If you have to hide a strategy from the IRS it is probably against the law yet Ernst and Young assured...

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