In the New York Times’ High and Low Finance found in the Business Section.
The article highlights how Deloitte L.L.P. had, according to the law, failed in its professional duties in its work for the failed automaker MG Rover. MG Rover is a failed automobile company which was taken over by four businessmen in 2000 (Norris). The businessmen ran the company into the ground by making suspicious business transactions that assisted them in stealing millions of pounds in the process.
While this was happening, Deloitte L.L.P. was the company’s auditor. The company failed to put the interest of the public first, as is the law in Britain, and instead put their own interest first. The law requires that each and every accountant in Britain work in the best interest of the public. All the employees for MG Rover lost their jobs. As such, Deloitte L.L.P. failed to work in the interest of the public.
The underlying issue raised by the article is the manner in which auditing firms fail to protect the interest of the public by allowing companies to be run down with the aim of maintaining business. Deloitte L.L.P. failed to blow the whistle on the dubious deals being conducted by the Phoenix Venture company. Though the dealings were not illegal, they led to the loss of jobs for many workers.
The public has positively reacted to the fact that Deloitte L.L.P. was fined heavily, £14 million. The public believe that most audit forma have become accountants for the firms they audit. This has led to many companies being run to the ground with hundreds, if not thousands of people losing their jobs.
Deloitte L.L.P. in its defence claimed that there was no public interest involved in the case as the company was a private firm. There was no option for the firm but to accept the fine (Norris).
Deloitte L.L.P.’s response and defence was ill-put and only looks to undermine the role of ethics in business as there was conflict of interest with the manner in which they handled the matter. (Campbell, T., Houghton, K. A., & Australian National University)
Campbell, T., Houghton, K. A., & Australian National University. Ethics and auditing. Canberra: ANU E Press, 2005. Print.
Norris, F. “When Accountants Act as Bankers.” The New York Times 12 September 2013. Internet Source. 21 September 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/business/when-auditors-act-as-bankers.html?pagewanted=1&ref=ethics&adxnnlx=1379761535-xm6fTM3lgoRVeFw7mi/lkg>.