Monday, September 17, 2012

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 lists several sanctions for offering bribes, kickbacks, etc.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 lists several sanctions for offering bribes, kickbacks, etc.  While this is the rule for accounting in the United States, other countries have no such laws.  How does the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) compensate for this inconsistency in accounting rules, if at all?  How would you compensate for this difference in accounting standards?  Do you believe that allowing bribes, kickbacks, etc. is necessarily unethical?

The Foreign Corrup Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977 was establish to deter bribes to political officials outside of the United State and to make it a requirement for all public companies to fairly reflect financial activity and maintain reasonable records and properly recording of transactions (p.568). Other than the ISBA issuing ISA No. 1 "Presentation of Financial Statements" and IAS No. 34, "Interim Financial Reporting", the IASB does not have any ruling or regulations for bribery or kickbacks. If it were up to me, to avoid such kickbacks or briberies of foreign officials I would have the ISBA adopt a law similar to FCPA. I doubt that it would go through, since they allow the individual nations to enforce IAS No. 34 or the frequency of reporting to be decided by the each countries national law. 
If bribes or kickbacks were not view as unethical, then there would not be any need for the FCPA. I think that both the company and the individual(s) involved in the bribes are unethical, they are the only ones benefiting from these acts. Let's take a major shoe company going into a third world nation, they offer the governent official a large quantity of cash and incentives for the ability to establish a plant in the country, who will benefit? The individual and the shoe company. Either will claim that they have people working, but they are working for pennies a day. Yet the official enjoys perks and lots of money, while they company will sell the cheap shoes for hundreds of dollars. The bribe and kickback is very unethical.