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We Sure Could Use a Little Good News Today (Jan/Feb 2015)

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Ethics Matters

January/February 2015

It was sometime in the fall of 2003 on my 45-minute drive to the NASBA office that I heard the Anne Murray classic, “A Little Good News.” Describing the anemic economy, society’s ills and the current sad state of world affairs, Murray’s lyrics penetrated my thinking:

“Just once, how I’d like to see the headline say/Not much to print today, can’t find nothing bad to say…”

Since the turn of the 21st century, it seemed that nothing but bad news was heard, seen or read about corporations, their executives and sadly enough, their auditors. From 2000 through 2002, we read about the financial misrepresentations and accounting malfeasance of such companies as Computer Associates, Xerox, Enron, Duke Energy, Global Crossing, WorldCom, AOL, and their auditors, ad nauseam.

It was against this dreary background that the NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) was established in 2005. I presented the idea at a NASBA regional meeting and at the conclusion of my remarks, Milton Brown sprang to his feet and with enthusiasm gave me the first contribution to the CPT. With this initial support, I began developing the plan for the CPT with the help of Larry Bridgesmith and Noel Allen. The NASBA Board of Directors subsequently approved the charter and the ethics arm of NASBA was on its way. And fittingly, Milton became the Center’s first chair and lifetime director.

The Center is principally about good news, good people and good companies. And by focusing on the right, the honest, and model ethical behavior, I continue to believe that we’ll have less to print and less bad to say about company executives and CPAs who make bad judgments and fail.

  CostelloAd astra, per aspera

  David A. Costello
  CPT Chair
  President & CEO, Retired


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