By Angela Byers, IABC Tulsa President
In 2002, I was working as a graphic designer in a corporate communications department. It was during that time that WorldCom’s corporate accounting fraud came to light – and I remember it well. As we know, WorldCom was not alone in these illegal accounting practices and several other corporations fell in similar fashion. It was a painful lesson to many companies, their employees and investors. It was also in 2002 that U.S. Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (or SOX), which set public companies and accounting firms on a new path to accountability, transparency and better business ethics.
This month, IABC/Tulsa teams up with the Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium (OK Ethics) for its August meeting titled Ethical Leadership for the 21st Century. Cynthia Cooper, CEO of The Cooper Group, is the speaker and I am very excited about hearing her story. Cooper led the small, internal audit team that uncovered nearly $4 billion in illegal accounting practices at WorldCom. She is now an ambassador for business ethics – teaching professionals and students how to prepare themselves for that moment when they face a situation that tests their ethics and integrity.