International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Facilitating Payments versus Bribes: Are We Sending Conflicting Ethical Signals in Accounting Education?
Randall B. Bunker, K. Michael Casey

Due to the past decade of business scandals, ethics in accounting education has become an increasingly important topic in the academic profession. This increased focus on teaching ethics in academic programs can create challenges for education professionals, especially when unethical behaviors like facilitating payments (FPs) to foreign officials continue to be allowed under United States law. Facilitation, or ‘grease’ payments, remains one of the few exceptions from anti-bribery prohibitions of the law. While technically legal, facilitation payments are questionable at best from an ethical point of view and their legality creates obvious obstacles when trying to teach students the difference between ethical and unethical behavior. The legal code should be updated to create ethical consistency regarding this issue.

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