Ethics and Professionalism Project Assignment

All certified accountants have the responsibility of conducting themselves in a manner that is in the interest of the general public and follow important accounting principles of transparency and objectivity. They should also exhibit due care, professional competence, and confidentiality in every transaction. Behaving in a manner that is in the interest of general public involves paying attention to the interest of customers, investors, the government and other stakeholders who depend on the integrity of accounting. There are laid down accounting and auditing that ensure there is ethical conduct in the accounting profession. These accounting and auditing standards have a huge impact on how accountants conduct their work.

As was mentioned in this professionalism in the workplace essay, one of the accounting standards that have had an enormous impact on the accounting profession is the General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). GAAP contains basic rules and procedures that take into consideration the complexities and legalities of accounting. GAAP rules and procedures are used by the Financial Accounting and Standards Body to establish good accounting practices. The United States regulations require all public listed companies to release their financial statements yearly in line with General Accepted Accounting Principles. GAAP contains ten vital concepts. The ten principles of GAAP include regularity, consistency, sincerity, permanence, continuity, materiality, prudence, non-compensation and utmost good faith.  The principle of non-compensation, for instance, states that all accounting elements of a firm must objectively be reported whether they are bad or good. The principle of materiality, on the other hand, requires full disclosure of a company’s financial situation (Airline, 2015).

General Accepted Accounting Principles have several impacts on the ethics and professionalism of accountants. GAAP ensures that there is transparency, integrity, and honesty in the reporting of the financial statements. The principles also standardize methods, descriptions, and terminologies making the work of certified accountants easier. Financial statements released by GAAP compliant companies can be compared with those of external parties with relative easy. GAAP ensures that there is transparency, continuity, and professionalism in accounting. This ensures that investors and stakeholders in an entity make prudent and informed business choices. The ten GAAP principles eliminate confusing accounting reporting methods. Besides, the ten principles ensure financial reporting offer potential investors the true financial situation of a company (Airline, 2015).  Cases of falsifying accounting records are on the rise. Most companies falsify financial books to paint a picture of a good financial health. Companies are therefore under pressure to hire professional accountants who abide by the accounting code of ethics. GAAP ensures that accountants are transparent and objective in all their dealings (Allen & Bunting, 2008). The principles introduce some responsibility in the manner in which accountants perform their duties. They have made the accounting profession more ethical and transparent. They also ensure that reporting of financial information is relevant, reliable and consistent. Accounting standards require accountants to detect financial situations that raise ethical concerns. When professionals or entities identify situations that compromise their independence they apply accounting principles which help minimize the risks (SEC Concept Release).

Accounting standards, rules, and principles bring sanity and a sense of professionalism in the accounting professional. They shift a burden of responsibility towards certified accountants in terms of ensuring that reported financial information is transparency and objective. The standards also make the work of accountants easier by standardizing methods and terminologies in accounting. Adherence to accounting standards improves investor confidence and enhances the corporate image of a company.

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How to Communicate As a True Leader? 5 Easy Tips

When being in a leading position, everyone knows you have to be a good communicator. Even though that is a known fact, many people don’t know how to effectively communicate with their peers.

Here are 5 simple and easy tips that will help you communicate more effectively when you are in a leading position.

  • Learn to Adapt

One of the most important things when it comes to communicating as a leader is to learn to adapt to the audience that you have in front of you. Try to understand them and connect with them and then move forward to adapt your sayings to their level.

If you’re speaking to your employees, you might possibly need to be more direct than when speaking to your customers. Make sure to use the right style of speaking in order to be liked and understood by both groups.

  • Be a Good Listener

When it comes to being a good listener, the recipe is simple. Try listening more than you speak. When you show your audience that you take the time to listen to them, you make sure that you understand their problems and avoid any misunderstandings.

Everyone wants to know that the person in charge is there to listen to their problems and help them find a solution. This is the best way for you to stay close to your peers and gain their respect.

The only thing to keep in mind in this situation though, is to make sure that they understand that their personal problems are a different subject and they can only come to you with problems that affect their work.

  • Use Examples

There is no better way to make yourself understood that using examples in your speech. Examples allow your audience to make better sense of what you are saying and depending on how personal your examples are they allow them to feel closer to you.

Especially when it comes to a making a speech in your workplace, you will need to have something prepared and written on paper so you make sure you include all you need to say and explain at the right time, if you wish to engage your audience.

Examples coming from your personal experience offer you a more humane and approachable look. Try making people see things from your perspective and it will be even easier for you to keep them focused on what you’re saying.

  • Take Note of the Body Language

When it comes to using body language as a leader, it is important to remember that you need to be encouraging and inspiring to your peers. First and foremost, you need to understand their body language. Do they look comfortable around you? Are they honest with you or seeking for your approval?

If you manage to understand traits like these it will be a lot easier for you to start building your own behavior around what they lack the most. The important thing is to make them trust you and look up to you as a strong leader. If you manage to

  • Speak With Authority

A leader always has to be respected and looked up to.  That is something that you definitely to work on and it can oftentimes be quite tricky to master. You need to work on speaking confidently and making sure you always present yourself well.

One of the most important things to do is to use strong filler words in order to avoid long pauses or awkward silences. Instead of saying “Uhm” or something similar when you need to gather your thoughts, try using words like “Now” or “However”. This will help you avoid long pauses and at the same time give you enough time to think.

The Right Communication Techniques are Key

It is easy to become a leader but it is not as simple to become a good leader. You need to have particular skills and know how to react in various situations in order to keep your prestige and the respect your peers show you.

The simple tips mentioned above in the article are sure to give you a few ideas on how to start becoming more successful and closer to a true leader. All you need to do is make sure you’ve done plenty of research so you are able to lead your group of employees through anything that comes along your way.

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Analysis for the Car Market Case

 

The key challenge facing CarMax is the threat to its continued rise in the future. This is based on uncertainties raised by the questions like how it could effectively scale its business while maintaining a steady supply of used cars and profitability. It is also faced with how it will survive without its competitive edge given by data advantage. Further, information systems have become cheaper making it easy for the competitors to duplicate it, whether it should reconsider its decision to leave the new car market and how wholesaling fits into its future plans. The challenging economy with unprecedented recessions and competitors are other major challenges that CarMax cannot ignore.

External Analysis, the Industry, and Economic Environment

PESTEL Analysis

The PESTEL analysis is a framework or tool through which marketers analyze the external marketing environmental factors affecting a business. Its results are then used to identify the strengths and weaknesses and hence prepare a SWOT analysis.

Competitors are the major macro environmental factor affecting CarMax. It has however been able to stay above the competition by having very good policies like its comprehensive data program, extended services, pricing of their cars, smooth reliable operations, and an efficient management team with in-house trained personnel.

The other major external factor affecting CarMax is economic crisis arising from recessions. During the 2008-2009 economic crisis, CarMax’s growth slowed and profits dropped but unlike some of its competitors, it was able to spring back and resumes a steady growth. Other than Honda, it was the only other automobile company to post profits during this period.

Legislation regulating sale of both new and used cars also affects CarMax and the fact that these legislations differ from state to state complicates this issue. CarMax has however been able to comply with these regulations without any listed breach of the laws.

Porters Five Forces Analysis

The five competitive forces analyzed by Poters Five Forces analysis are used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the business and include:

Competitors

Threat of new entrants into the industry

Power of suppliers

Power of customer

Threat posed by substitute products

So far, CarMax has been able to stay above the competition with some of them not being able to withstand the challenges facing the car trade and folding up. New entrants are hindered from entering the car market by high initial costs and the fact that returns are not immediate. CarMax derives about half of its supplies from wholesale auctions and the other half from customer trade-ins both of which are reliable sources of its cars. CarMax has a customer focused business model aimed at giving the customer the best deal at the best price, which has endeared it to the customers hence its continued growth and profitability. The substitute to what CarMax offers is new cars but this is not a threat to its market share as there will always be people who cannot afford the new cars or prefer older models offered by CarMax especially with the challenging world economy.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to a business. CarMax’s major strength was its being able to identify a niche in the way cars were being sold and how customers wanted to buy them. Its retail and management skills from Circuit City were also a major strength for CarMax. Its ability to adapt to different economic situations, growth, and expansion potential are other strengths exhibited by CarMax. Its major weakness is lack of diversification in product and the fact that its customer experience remains the same except that it is faster because of application of technology. Opportunities for CarMax lie in the fact that a lot of the used car market is untapped both within the United States and outside which it can tap by franchising. The biggest threat is the possible rise of its competitors because of information systems becoming cheaper hence making it lose its competitive edge given by its wide database.

INTERNAL ANALYSIS

VRIO Analysis

VRIO an acronym for Value, Rareness, Imitability, and Organization

CarMax was able to identify the niche in the used cars market and had the capability and resources to fill this gap. Its management and retail skills were its biggest resource. Shareholder investments and profitability provided the needed capital base for growth and expansion. This created value for the firm and its ability to neutralize any threats.

The used cars market is described as having a fragmented competitor base and there was no strongbox player who was successful in it.This meant that its control was in the hands of a few and CarMax was easily able to penetrate it.

CarMax was able to come up with a very unique and customer focused business model which emphasized a broad variety of popular merchandise at attractive prices, with economies of scale which it copywritted protecting itself from imitators. The company sued Republic for copyright infringement successfully and it was awarded $50 million.

CarMax’s top management had the appropriate skills and a vision that employed the best principles that enabled it to flourish in the used car market. This enabled it to expand profitably hence capture value.

SWOT Analysis

CarMax’s biggest strength is its business model coupled up with its visionary management and a big capital base that enables it to grow and expand. Its major weakness is lack of diversification both in terms of product and customer experience. Its opportunity lies in the fact that the market is still not fully serviced with room for growth and the fact that it is still fragmented with few competitors. Its biggest threat is the new digital age where information that was only available from them can now be accessed elsewhere diminishing its competitive edge.

REMEDIES

CarMax could review its decision to stop the sale of new cars. It could use its establishment and already available outlets to negotiate for dealership deals with car manufacturers. This could include both retail and wholesale sales. It could also diversify its products by opening a spare parts department, services, and car repair department that is not just limited to its trade in customers but is open to the public.

CarMax could also franchise its business model to other businesses both within the United States and globally.

In an opinion, CarMax should apply a blend of all these remedies with due consideration of the already available resources and costs in a way that maximizes profit and its competitive edge for its growth to be sustainable. This will ensure that it retains its position as the top car seller.

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6 ways to conquer your fear and resistance to challenging tasks

Life is full of difficult tasks – tasks that are already a massive chore on their own. The thing is, we then end up making them harder by procrastinating, hemming and hawing and staring up at the steep incline ahead of us with such dread we don’t actually ever get started. The result? The time we have shrinks, the fear mounts and the quality of our lives drops.

Sometimes we let so much time pass and we get so stressed out that when we do actually get to the task, we end up making a hash of it. Even worse, our fail of failure might well become so overwhelming that we end up not taking the plunge. And so amazing opportunities pass us by and fear gets replaced by regret.

Now how can that ever be the right way to live?

The good news is that you can overcome your fears. There are a number of strategies which will help you overcome the crippling fear and anxiety that you’re feeling.

Acknowledge your fear

Just because you’re ignoring your fear doesn’t mean you’re no longer feeling it. That is not how these things work. So don’t try that route. Instead, acknowledge your fear. Understand what is causing you to feel this fear. Move through that.

After all, bravery isn’t blindly ignoring your fear, it is accepting it and moving on despite it (and even because of it).

Make things concrete

Abstract activities are much harder to wrap your head around than things which you’ve actually made more concrete. And that’s not that strange. Abstract things, after all, are filled with far more unknowns and unpredictable things, which leaves a lot more space for the fear to live.

For that reason, when you have to do something that you’re afraid of, the first thing that you want to do is sit down and write out what it will actually consist of. Create an outline, which includes the steps you have to take and the processes you’ll have to go through. Now, make sure that you add detail. I mean, it doesn’t have to be up to the level of a professional writing service, but it should still be detailed and comprehensive.

Even better, divide it up into short tasks that are actually relatively easy to achieve. In this way, you take the focus off the mountain you have to climb and instead focus on the individual steps you’ll be able to take to do that climbing. That will be much less overwhelming.

Small steps are better than none at all

Sometimes promising yourself that you will only do this task you don’t want to for a short time will make it far easier to actually start doing the task. That’s what such things as the Pomodoro timer is based on. Twenty five minutes of focused time on a task you don’t want to do can already make a dent, after all. It can even show you that it’s not half as bad as you have made it out to be.

If you like using something like the Pomodoro timer, also check out Stay focused, be present, as this doesn’t just make you work for 25 minutes, but blocks specific sites that you’ve listed as well – so that you don’t go check social media or read the news.

Start with something you know you can do

Now that you’ve got your outline and you know what you’ve got to do to actually complete the task, start with one of them that you know you can actually do. It’s fine if you pick something that you might actually enjoy doing as well.

The goal here is to build on your successes. For the more we’ve succeeded, the more confident we end up feeling. And the more confident we feel, the easier it becomes to tackle the harder tasks still ahead.

Be honest about when you’re avoiding

Of course, you can’t let that go too far. There is doing the simple tasks first and then there’s using whatever excuse you can to avoid the hard tasks you don’t want to do. If you find that you’re engaging in busy work, like organizing your sock drawer, then it’s time to realize you’re avoiding again.

When this happens, don’t be too hard on yourself. We all avoid our problems at one time or another. Of course, don’t accept that this means you can continue avoiding. Instead, return to the task and move forward – keep doing this again and again and eventually the task will be done.

Reward yourself

In psychology they’ve managed to get pigeons playing ping pong by using a simple strategy of rewarding them when they do what they’re supposed to. Now, obviously we’re more complicated than pigeons, but there are still a lot of mechanisms in our brain that work the same way. If we do something and we then reward ourselves, we can condition ourselves to find the task less objectionable and do it more consistently in the future.

The easiest way to do so is to use the reward centers in the brain. This can be anything from having your favorite candy, to cuddling with your cat. After you’ve managed to work for a while on the task at hand, to giving yourself a break with a task you really enjoy.

Now, do note you don’t have to make the reward huge. It can be a small thing. What’s more important is that the one has to follow the other consistently and without too big of a break, as that’s the easiest way for our brain to learn the association.

Watch the distractions

Getting yourself to do something that you fear or dislike can be hard enough if done once. It can be neigh-on impossible if you have to do it over and over again. For this reason, make sure that you turn off the distractions.

This means putting your phone away, blocking websites which are likely to draw you in and telling the people who might try to get your intention to not bother you (consider actually posting a sign). This might sound like a trifling thing, but the truth is the research indicates that people who are the most effective at what they don’t resist temptation, but manage to avoid it instead. After all, we don’t want to waste our willpower resisting the world outside. We want to use our willpower to stay focused on the task at hand. For that’s how we’re going to surmount the challenge and get it out of the way.

 

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