Bristol Community College

Bristol Community College

ACC102 - Principles of Accounting II

ACC 102: Professor Phoebe Blackburn,
Email Address,
Campus Extension (Voice Mail) 2417

This Course Guide is designed to assist you with assignments and research for Phoebe Blackburn's Principles of Accounting II, ACC 102. If you need assistance using any of the sources or need help finding additional information please contact a reference librarian either by stopping by the LRC, calling (508) 678-2811 x2108, or using our Online Reference form.

Research Project

Write a research paper on the topic of ethics in accounting. Your paper should address the following points: the general meaning of ethics and the importance of ethics in the field of accounting; a discussion of examples of what happens when accountants act unethical, and the legislation created to prevent unethical behavior in accounting; and a conclusion – how does this affect you and/or your feelings on being ethical.


The purpose of this guide is to show you how to find information available at the LRC/SAILS on ethics in accounting. You will learn how to find books, journal and/or magazine articles, newspaper articles, media, and web sites on this topic to assist you in writing your research paper. Ethics in the accounting profession is of high importance in order to maintain the integrity of companies, organizations and institutions. It is essential that accurate and honest records are kept not only for investors but also for the public that is the recipient of the company’s products or services. Recent instances of unethical accounting have been brought to public knowledge over the last several years, showing the disastrous results of these corrupt practices.

Subject Headings

The LRC and other libraries in the SAILS network have a number of books and media on ethics in accounting and on business ethics in general. Below you will find a list of subject headings, each one linking you to bibliographic records in our online catalog that describe materials dealing with that particular heading. If you are looking for information on a particular company, search under the name of the company. Check the copy statement at the bottom of each short entry to see if BCC owns the item. If we do not own it, a hold can be placed on the item that is located in another library in the SAILS network. The item will be sent to BCC or another SAILS library of your choice within 2 to 3 business days.

Accountants - Professional ethics

Accounting - Corrupt practices

Accounting firms - Corrupt practices

Accounting - standards

Business ethics

Corporations - Accounting - Law and legislation

Corporations - Corrupt practices

Enron Corp.

Financial statements

Forensic accounting

Fraud investigation

United States. Sarbanes - Oxley Act of 2002

WorldCom (firm)

Selected Reference Books

Title Call Number

Codes of Professional Responsibility: REF BJ 1725 C57 1999
Ethics Standards in Business, Health, and Law

Presents the official codes of ethics of 37 major professional organizations in business, health, and law. Indexed by issue and profession and supplemented by lists of research organizations, educational programs, government-related bodies, and books, periodicals, and databases.

Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics (4 Vols.) REF BJ 63 A66X 1998

Tries to help the reader make their own ideas clearer, more rational, and more responsive to the realities of life. The information is designed to help people think clearly and critically about their own values and whether these values need to be reevaluated. As the application of ethics increasingly plays a role in our national and international professional, political, and personal debates, the Encyclopedia offers organized ideas within narrowly defined studies that are often isolated within a specific industry or intellectual field.

Encyclopedia of Ethics (2 Vols.) REF BJ 63 E45 1992

Covers mostly academic ethics, though it also covers aspects of moral philosophy in other cultures. Some 435 signed, cross-referenced articles (with bibliographies) treat such topics as meta ethics; important moral concepts; perennial moral problems; moral, legal, political, and social theory; applied ethics; and the relationship between philosophical ethics and other fields.

GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) REF HF 5635 W55 2004

Presents the most recent developments and analysis of all generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Restates the original, highly technical pronouncements in easy-to-under-stand terms and provides implementation guidance. Offers complete coverage of Levels A, B, and C GAAP; including EITF issues that have not yet been reduced to consensus, as well as EITF Appendix D discussion matters.

Periodical Databases

There are thousands of periodical and newspaper articles on ethics in the accounting field and on general business ethics. In order to help you wade through all of these and find appropriate and pertinent articles, the LRC subscribes to numerous electronic databases which index these articles, provides abstracts, and many times has the full text of the articles themselves.

Searching Tips and Hints:

You can use some of the same words listed above in the Subject Headings section of this course guide as keywords to search these databases. For example, you could use the terms: accounting fraud; Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; accounting and ethics; accounting and corrupt practices, plus a number of other terms and combinations of terms. Also, names of companies and key people, such as Adelphia Communications Corp.; Tyco International; Kenneth L. Lay; Martha Stewart; WorldCom; Bristol-Myers Squibb or Arthur Andersen, for example. Combining keywords with the Boolean operators and or or also provides for more efficient and relevant search results.

For example, if you only wanted information on Arthur Andersen in relation to Enron, you could put in the words: Arthur Anderson and Enron. Your results should give you articles/cases that deal with what this accounting firm had to do with the Enron scandal. If you wanted information on the Tyco fraud case in relation to either one of two chief officers involved, Dennis Kozlowski or Mark Swartz, your search would be Tyco and (Dennis Kozlowski or Mark Swartz).

Listed below are some of the databases that would be helpful to use when searching for information on ethics in accounting:

Databases are accessible from off campus to patrons who have a valid accessBCC card unless otherwise specified.

Regional Business News

Use this database to find news articles about recent issues and events concerning ethics in accounting. These articles come from business journals, newspapers and newswires covering all metropolitan and rural areas within the United States. Most articles are full text.

Business Source Premier
This database will provide you with the full text for thousands of articles in scholarly business journals, magazines for general business readership, and some business reports. Not only will it give you many articles on ethical issues in accounting, but also offers information in nearly every area of business including management, economics, finance, international business, and more.

General BusinessFile ASAP

This is another business database searchable by subject(s) or keyword(s). As in the above mentioned database, Business Source Premier, it also indexes, abstracts, and provides thousands of full text articles.

Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe
Consisting of five different topic areas in which to search, LexisNexis provides all full text articles from journals, magazines, law books, newspapers/newswire services, reports, SEC Filings, and directories. You can search for information dealing with ethics in accounting under the Business topic area and/or the Legal Research topic area of this database. Please click here to get more information on searching these two topic areas.

CQ Researcher
Provides in-depth, non-biased coverage of political and social issues. In the search box, enter the keywords “accounting fraud.” This will pull up a list of reports by title (you may have this list sorted by date, with latest articles first by clicking the up arrow button located above the dates). Of special interest are the reports entitled “Accountants Under Fire” (3/22/2002); “Corporate Crime” (10/11/2002); and “Stock Market Troubles” (1/16/2004). All content is produced and evaluated by scholars, seasoned journalists, and CQ Press editors, providing an overview of the topic, historical and current information, pros and cons, chronology, and much more.

The following newspaper databases will provide you with the full text of many of the newspaper articles that are only cited and not full text in the above periodical databases, such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. You can search these databases by topic or keyword as well:

Full-text articles from the Quincy Patriot Ledger (1995 to present), New York Times (1999 to present) and Wall Street Journal (1982 to present.). You can either type in your own keywords or select the tab “Topic Guide” at the top of the screen. By selecting the tab, it will link you to another search screen where you can enter your search term(s). If you type in “accounting fraud” for example, it will search for one or both of those words in the “Topic Guide” and provide a link to numerous full text articles on that topic.

Full-text articles from the Boston Globe (MA) (1980-Current); Boston Herald (MA) (7/26/1991-Current); Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, MA) (4/1999-Current); and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) (1989-Current). Searchable by keyword(s).

Newspaper Source
Provides selected full text for 25 national (U.S.) and international newspapers, including USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, The Times (London), The Toronto Star, etc. The database also contains selected full text for more than 200 regional (U.S.) newspapers, including The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Detroit Free Press, The Miami Herald, The New York Daily News, The San Jose Mercury News, etc. In addition, full text television & radio news transcripts are provided from CBS News, FOX News, NPR, etc.

Web Sites

Accounting Malpractice: Advanced Prevention Resources for Accountants

The purpose of this site is to provide the practicing CPA, students, and other interested parties with the latest information and tools to help reduce the accountant’s exposure to accounting malpractice claims. These resources are delivered in the form of advice and current news stories from many sources. This information is free, with more services provided with a paid subscription.

AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants)
The AICPA, according to their mission statement, is a national, professional organization for all Certified Public Accountants. They provide members with the resources, information, and leadership that will enable them to provide valuable services in the highest professional manner to benefit the public as well as employers and clients. By clicking on their “Professional Ethics” link from the site’s menu on the left, you will be brought to a selection of other ethics related links, including a link to their “Sarbanes-Oxley Act/PCAOB Implementation Central”. Here you will find a wealth of information on Sarbanes-Oxley, such as how we came to have this legislation, its impact on the accounting profession, the full text of the act, a summary of its provisions, and much more.

Bob Jensen’s Threads on Accounting Fraud
This site is a wealth of information on accounting fraud, giving links to the full text of newspaper, periodical, report and website information. Included are reports on corporations involved in these scandals, the lawsuits, individuals involved, how and by whom investigations and reporting of fraudulent accounting or securities fraud takes place, and a host of other related issues. Dr. Jensen is a professor of business administration at Trinity College in Texas and has won numerous honors in his field, including the American Accounting Association's Outstanding Accounting Educator Award from the American Accounting Association in 2002.

Business Ethics
This website presents links with annotations to business ethics articles and publications; case studies; corporate codes of ethics; professional organizations and associations; resources and centers; and other additional resources. It is compiled by Sharon Stoerger, who has MLS and MBA degrees.

Corporate Crime Reporter
Articles posted on this web site are highlights from the legal print newsletter of the same name. The site has articles on unethical/corrupt practices of corporations and the individuals associated with the fraudulent behavior. Also discussed are the legal aspects and ramifications of corporate crime. The print version is in its 17th year of publication. Subscribers include federal and state prosecutors, major white-collar and corporate crime defense law firms, trial lawyers, major corporations, law school libraries, and large media outlets.

Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
The FASB is the designated organization in the private sector for establishing standards of financial accounting and reporting. These standards govern the preparation of financial reports. They are officially recognized as authoritative by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Included on their website are action alerts; FASB statements and interpretations; articles, reports and other publications; plus numerous links to associated activities and information.

FindLaw: Legal News and Commentary (Special Coverage)
This subsection of the larger website, FindLaw, presents special news coverage of current issues in the news. Included in this special coverage area are news articles and legal documents/cases dealing with Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco International. If you click on the link “Featured Docs” located on the menu at the left, you will get the FindLaw News Document Archive. Here you can search for other news and legal documents/cases of corporate corruption, such as Martha Stewart and Imclone, etc. You may also use the search box for the News on the menu at the left to input your keyword(s). For example, if you wanted to search for articles/documents on accounting fraud you would need to enclose quotations around the terms “accounting fraud” because you want the words to appear together in your results. Your results, located in “Legal News,” brings you to another subsection of FindLaw – FindLaw for Legal Professionals. Here you can search for “accounting fraud” in other areas of this site or the web. By using the drop down menu to the right of the search box, you can select to search only in FindLaw or US Government Sites, for example. The results are numerous.

PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)
This Board, according to their website, is a private-sector, non-profit corporation created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Its purpose is to oversee the auditors of public companies in order to protect the interests of investors and further the public interest in the preparation of informative, fair, and independent audit reports. Their website provides current articles of interest to those in the accounting field and the full text of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (accessible by typing the name of the Act in their search box). Users can also research proposed standards in accounting and audit documentation and enforcement.

This site provides links to recent developments on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 along with news and current event articles in the area of accounting/accounting fraud. Users can review current SEC rules and regulations with cross-references to specific sections of the Act. Also included at this website are Sarbanes-Oxley disclosure/internal controls; full text of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; the Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Manual; and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Rules.

Securities Fraud FYI
Developed by the company Einstein Law, this website provides information on the various types of securities fraud, including accounting fraud. Links to information on companies involved in securities fraud are listed. These links provide concise, factual reporting of the issues. There is also a News, FAQ, and Glossary.

Special Report: Corporate Corruption
This is part of CNN’s website, presenting their news stories on corporate corruption from January 2004 to the present. Also given is information on the cases that have been settled, the investigators, the executives involved in the corrupt practices, and who the latest corporation to be charged with fraud is.

Thomas: Legislative Information on the Internet
This is part of the Library of Congress web site and provides one of the best sources for U.S. legislative information on the internet. Bills, legislative histories, committee information and reports, the Congressional Record, historic documents, and other legal information are available at this site. To find the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, you will need to know that the law passed during the 107th Congress as H.R. 3763 or P.L. 107-204. Click on “Bill Summary and Status” under “Legislation” on the menu bar and then click on 107th Congress. Type in the first search box either the H.R. or P.L. number and click search. Your results will give you the full text of the bill plus amendments and bill status, sponsors and more.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
This website presents information about the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and how they regulate and enforce these regulations on financial securities in the United States. The site also provides other services useful in the disclosure of information to investors, such as the EDGAR database, made possible by the SEC’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system. This performs automated collection, validation, indexing, acceptance, and forwarding of submissions by companies and others who are required by law to file forms with the SEC. These reports, including the annual (10k) reports, quarterly, and periodic reports along with numerous other forms and schedules, are presented to the public in the free EDGAR database accessible at this site.