Nowadays, corruption in Indonesia is a hot issue. Many people get jail because this case. Corruption brings the negative effect for this nation. Corruption means that some people use their position to take the others rights for self interest. Why in Indonesia corruption can grow like today? I think there is a big problem, and that problem is about moral. Bad moral can make people do something bad too. For example, in this case, when you get a high position and then you have power to do something. If your moral is bad, maybe you can use your power to do something bad, you can take the others rights for yourself interest and in the other hands, people whose rights have been taken will get the pain. And you? You get a benefit from the others pain.
In my academic background, I studying accounting in university and I think accounting is close with this problem. Accounting close with manipulation, mark up, even corruption if a accountant have no good moral.
To be an accountant is a dilemmatic. Why? Accounting in corporation or in a company faces the dilemmatic problem. Accountant works to make a financial reporting about the company. Nowadays, corruption is the biggest issue in Indonesia. Accountant is the susceptible with corruption. As a company accountant, maybe an accountant has an order to make a financial reporting for company interest. For example if you are an accountant, your boss asks you to make a financial reporting with some manipulation or mark up to avoid big taxes, so the company has big profit. Faces a problem like that, what would accountant should do? Will you obey with your boss’ order to make some manipulation in financial reporting in the financial reporting, or you will ignore your boss’ order. That’s mean, you will make financial reporting and make it with no manipulation and you company will have the bigger taxes.
In accounting principles, there a principle called neutrality. Neutrality in accounting means that a financial reporting must be neutral and present the financial reporting as it is. Also, there is no interest in that financial reporting. Neutrality and integrity are the most important for an accountant. If every accountant in this world have neutrality and integrity, corruption can be avoid in a company even in a country. Neutrality and integrity are the moral problem and interest problem.
Kieso, Weygandt, and Warfield (2011:4) argued that neutrality means that a company cannot select information to favor one set of interest parties over another. The concept of neutrality in accounting means that the financial statements must be neutral, in this case means the financial statements are not partial to anyone, either to investors companies, and other parties who have an interest in the financial statements. The concept of neutrality aims to avoid the manipulation of certain parties. Healthy financial statements should presents financial statements that it is in accordance with the financial situation of a company. If the concept of neutrality ignored, there will be a problem because if the financial statements are partial to one of the interested parties, there will be inequality of information and information about the circumstances causing the company to be biased.
Then with regard to the profession, as an accountant. Our neutrality is tested when there are people who want a manipulation of data. Back to the moral issue was, whether we are morally mature enough to deal with this kind of problem? A good accountant should be able to apply the concept of neutrality, despite pressure from other parties. In addition to the threat there is also a need to deal with the advantages offered by certain parties in order to presents the financial statements are not neutral. For example, people with an interest that give us money or other privileges. Corruption often occurs because the second reason, as an accountant in excess of normal benefits given that accountants were persuade to manipulate data in financial statements should be presented.
Integrity is more inclined to self and one’s conscience. An accountant who has high integrity will not be easy to do things contrary to conscience, in this case manipulate financial statements. Today, the integrity of the person being eroded, many people are more concerned with personal benefits than their conscience. In Indonesia, the clearer it is clearly visible with the rampant cases of corruption in Indonesia. Issue of integrity is the most difficult problem seems to built and repaired. Building a high integrity should begin early in childhood. The values of integrity and honesty must be nurtured along with increasing age. Integrity is not an instant, therefore it needs a long time so that a person can have high integrity.
In many cases of corruption, many cases which occur due to low integrity of the perpetrators of corruption. People who do corruption more concerned in personal benefits than the interests of others or public interests. Integrity in its works also easily bought and sold with money so that he will do it for improper activities of money and personal benefit. For example, an accountant has an order from his boss to make a financial statement with mark up or manipulation so that the company does not have high taxes. If an accountant has high integrity, he would not do his boss’ order to make financial statements with manipulation or mark up. He still would present the actual financial statements without any manipulation. Then when the accountant has low integrity, he will do what is ordered by his boss to make.
From the discussion above, working as an accountant obviously facing though dilemma, between conscience and convenience provided. Convenience given for opposing the conscience or the conscience to obey that sometimes do not take comfort in the financial field. As a good accountant, not just an intellectual skill is needed, but a good conscience is also needed, so as not easily to persuade to do despicable things like corruption. Solution to minimize this problem can be done by the character education earlier to children so that when they are mature, they will continue to uphold the values of integrity and honesty. And hope that it can help our nation to reduce the corruption act.