Ernst & Young-Auditors Cheat to Pass Ethics Exam

Ernst & Young-Auditors Cheat to Pass Ethics Exam
Case Code: FINC205
Case Length: 10 Pages
Period: 2020-22
Pub Date: 2023
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.300
Organization: Ernst & Young
Industry: Financial Services
Countries: United States
Themes: Corporate Ethics, Ethics in Business, Ethical Decision Making
Ernst & Young-Auditors Cheat to Pass Ethics Exam
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


US securities regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) levied a fine of US$ 100 million on the US arm of Ernst & Young (E&Y), one of the largest auditing firms in the world, after it was found that its audit professionals had cheated on exams they were required to pass to obtain and retain Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licenses. SEC pointed out that E&Y had not reported the misconduct or presented the evidence from the Enforcement division of SEC, and levied the fine of US$ 100 million on E&Y.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Examine the importance of having a Code of Conduct to guide employees toward ethical behavior
  • Understand the importance of Ethics for auditors and the individual’s responsibility toward ethics
  • Recommend the actions needed to be taken to prevent ethical wrongdoing



Code of Conduct; ethical behavior; ethics for auditors; Individual’s Responsibility; Ethical Wrongdoing; corporate values; Deviant workplace behavior ; organizationally directed production deviance; unethical conduct; business ethics; role of organization

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