I was brought up to be honest and to be truthful since young. This is an important virtue. Later in life, I read Accountancy in the university. I was again exposed to the Code of Ethics of the profession, key of which is to be honest in all professional and business relationships (ie integrity as a fundamental professional trait).
So when I read in the newspapers of cases, it saddened me to see some business owners failing in this front. Investors, customers, employees, and suppliers want to deal with a business whose owner is honest and can be trusted. It is no good to keep silent knowingly that silence can lead to misinformation. This kind of silence is not good ethical behaviour. All business transactions and dealings must be above board. If there is any conflict of interest, this should be spelt out clearly and let the receivers of this information judge for themselves. Silence is no defence that the business owner had been honest.
Dishonesty and evasion of tax has been around since I started work. Yet, it still happened even when the penalty for evasion of tax is a heavy one. One can only hope that business owners can use honesty as a mantra when in business. Only then would one be able to sleep soundly at night.
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