All the fraudulent accounting at Enron was fully reviewed & approved and seemed perfectly fine until the indictments were issued.

I have a post at my other blog, Attestation Update, describing a speech by the former CFO of Enron that says all of the bad transactions that sent him to jail were approved by the attorneys, approved by the auditors, and approved by the board.

Yet Enron is the poster child for corporate fraud.  A bunch of people went to jail for transactions that were fully reviewed and approved.

My post is All the Enron accounting was approved by the attorneys and the auditors and the board. Everything was perfectly legit. Until indictments were issued.

Here is the question that should unsettle all of us:

What things are you doing that you think are completely okay and in compliance with the rules, but when looked at from an another perspective others would consider deceptive?

What things make perfect sense to you but when considered by the IRS, an Attorney General, or the Department of Justice would be a big problem?

One lesson we can learn from Enron is that something we think is okay really could be quite a problem. Our pride and rationalization can kick in to convince us that we are on solid ground. Careful review by others could reveal we are standing on quicksand.

This could apply in many situations. Here’s one question I ask at the end of my post about how something could be interpreted by others:

  • What about taking 500 mg mebendazole pills readily available from multiple international vendors for $0.05 and booking a contribution with FMV of $10.54?

It’s not just medical donations.  The issue applies broadly.  What will others see when they step back from the nitty-gritty details we see?

There is a biblical issue found in Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”  The sobering question that comes from the Enron article which we should ask ourself:  is my deceitful heart deceiving me?

My longer discussion.

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