Ethics and Compliance Paper
March 12, 2013 University of Phoenix Ethics and Compliance Paper Barnes and Noble is a Fortune 500 company and is the leader in the bookselling arena operating 1,341 storefronts, 636 operations on college campuses servicing over 4. 6 million students and faculty, and operates one of the largest ecommerce sites on the World Wide Web. Barnes and Noble employs over 35,000 full and part time employees across the United States (www. barnesandnoble. com, 2011).
Barnes and Noble and Microsoft joined strategically to develop the digital platform known as NOOK, a digital book providing customers a multitude of books, magazines, newspapers, and other content via downloads from the Barnes and Noble site. Barnes and Noble provides the customer base with over 6,000 publications of various materials The digital platform demand is growing and Barnes and Noble is pushing operations to deliver products for every inquiring mind be it a professional, college student, children, young and old, and everything in between.
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The digital age is here to stay; it is taking over paper products by leaps and bounds. This digital age is providing opportunity for development in hardware, software, and delivery speed for web designers and network designers. Barnes and Noble increased total sales in 2011 by 20. 5% or $1. 91 billion over the 2010 annual report of $5. 81 billion (www. barnesandnoble. com, 2011). The decision to close low performance stores increased higher performing stores sales by $25 million, and the digital expansion in products, toys and games increased sales by 0. 7% off setting the decline in paper products (www. arnesandnoble. com, 2011). Ethics and Compliance Barnes and Noble supports a strong community alliance by hosting thousands of literary and cultural events nationwide. Community involvement for Downs Syndrome, reading programs, book drives, and storytelling are important to the Barnes and Noble family (www. barnesandnoble. com, 2011). Together with vendors, subsidiaries, and affiliates Barnes and Noble manages commercial dealings with the highest regard for the law, establishing ethical standards and code of conduct for all to follow according to the law.
All employees, management, and senior executives are required to follow the code of ethics as set forth by Barnes and Noble. The code of ethics includes compliance with regulations and laws, insider trading, competition, employment, environment issues, confidentiality, and record keeping (www. barnesandnoble. com, 2011). Barnes and Noble complies with all laws and regulations expecting the same commitment from all employees. Any violations will subject to disciplinary actions, and may also include termination of employment. The legal department provides more resources for inquiries not answered on the website.
Being ethical It is important for Barnes and Noble to be ethical in their business practice at all level in the company. From top down all level of the company must adhere to the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. There are seventeen important major categories in Barnes in Noble’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. These categories outline the business practices for Barnes and Noble to ensure that it is ethical and lawful. The first most important standard is to be compliance with the laws, rules, and regulations in which the industry Barnes and Noble operates in.
Barnes and Noble encourage charitable causes as it stated in their Code of Ethic, “Barnes & Noble encourages you to participate in projects and causes that help your local community” (“Code of business,” 2010). Barnes and Noble is fine with competition and fair dealing as they, “seeks to outperform its competition fairly and honestly, and to obtain competitive advantages through superior performance, never through unethical or illegal business practices” (“Code of business,” 2010). Barnes and Noble is an equal employment employer and as well as promotes safe working conditions.
It is outlined that safety is important to everyone employees and customers alike in Barnes and Noble. If there are unethical practices going on in the company, it is encouraged that employees are to report it so an investigation can occur. In order to help employees and protect them when they are reporting unethical practices, they can report anonymously so there would be no trace back to them and cause them to be fired. Overall Barnes and Noble promote fair competition and ethical behavior within its organization. Financial Markets in the United States
A financial market can be define as any marketplace where buyers and sellers participate in the trade of assets such as equities, bonds, currencies and derivatives. (“Http://www. investopedia. com”, 2013). Financial markets can be found in nearly every nation in the world. Some are very small, with only a few participants, while others – like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the foreign exchange markets – trade trillions of dollars daily. Dollars can be use for many different things. Saving accounts provide a secure place (a bank) to maintain money and grow interest on it while is not been utilized.
However, the money in a savings account does not sit in an enormous vault in the bank, it is use to assist other people purchase cars and homes and attend college. When the bank approves a loan, it is lending on all the money individuals have deposit in it. In this manner, the bank is acting as a financial market place for funds. A bank loan can assist achieving growth but that money has to be pay back with interest. People also use money to create investments. When one invests in a company, they are giving them a loan (when you buy bonds) or buying a part of that company (when you buy stock).
When a person invests in a company, the company may use the money to get bigger, increase advertising, purchase equipment, research new products, hire new people, or any number of other business activities. (“Http://www. ag. ny. gov”, 2012). Businesses come in different shapes and sizes. A business operated and owned by one person it is known as a sole proprietorship. A sole proprietorship is simple to establish and all earnings go to the owner. However, a sole proprietorship not necessarily have sufficient money (called capital) to develop or the owner may be worried that she or he carries all the risk of operating a business.
A sole proprietor may join with other individuals to form a partnership, owned by two or more individuals. There may be more capital to invest now, but the new owners have to share decision-making power and cash may still be restricted. In addition, a partnership may limit risk by making the business itself a legal entity. By doing this, the business may be involved in a lawsuit but the partner’s money and homes outside the business are considered protected. In addition, there are numerous choices for a company interested on growing.
The first option would be to use its earnings for capital, commonly known as reinvestment. A company, just like an individual, can obtain funds by borrowing from a bank. The third choice that a company may use a different form of borrowing that is considers a long-term growth, and that is issuing bonds. A bond is an IOU from the company to the investors. After a particular time, from six months to thirty years, a bond will mature. When this happens, the company has to pay the investors the amount they invested. The fourth option for raising capital is to sell piece of ownership in the corporation to the public.
Selling stock in the company can generate massive amounts of cash that can be used for a variety of purposes. When a company begins to sell stock, it is commonly know as to “go public”. There is a term in the United States financial markets called the bull and bear, bull market and a bear market are terms used to express the general market trends. A bull market is a phase during which stock prices are generally growing. A bear market is a phase when stock prices are generally declining. Every one of these markets is fueled by investors’ perception of where the economy and the market are heading.
If investors sense that they are in a bull market, they will feel confident investing, adding to the growth of the market. However, if investors consider that the market is declining they will sell stock at lesser prices, continuing the bear market. These trends may quickly change. Compliance with SEC Regulations The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a government agency responsible for enforcing federal laws that involve securities. The SEC requires companies that have public securities to fully disclose facts related to the company. Companies must disclose facts that may affect the value of the firm’s securities.
The SEC does not attempt to make judgment on the securities themselves however they do require that companies disclose information so stakeholders can make the best-informed decision themselves. To comply with the federal disclosure laws Barnes and Noble publishes 10-K and 8-K reports. The 10-K report is required annually by the SEC and contains a substantial amount of factual information relating to the company’s operations. Barnes and Nobles publishes this information via their website under the investors link where they can retrieve the reports and make decision based on what factual is given by Barnes and Noble.
In 2012 on the Barnes and Noble’s most recent 10-K report they publish information such as legal proceedings, disclosures of market risk, mine safety, and other selected financial data. Legal proceeding covers any claims, suits, or legal investigations that may affect the company. The market risk section covers qualitative and quantitative risks. According to Barnes and Noble’s 2012 10-K report, it limits interest rates risk by investing excess cash into short-term high liquid instruments with short maturity dates. Barnes and Noble’s mine safety disclosure report display information related to common equity and stock.
This section list a table of information that also indicated on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). This table consists of prices of common stock on quarterly periods for each fiscal year. In addition to the 10-K report Barnes and Noble also publishes an 8-K report that give more up-to-date information on current events. An 8-K report covers any unscheduled events or changes to the company that may interest its shareholders. Barnes and Noble’s last 8-K report was filed on March 8th 2013, and contained information regarding the continuation of employment of Chief Executive Officer, William Lynch.
This type of information is relevant to shareholders and indicates who and how the company will be run. Conclusion As a leader in the book selling industry, Barnes and Noble must stay ethical and profitable. Some may say that it is a difficult thing but being ethical does have its pay off in the long run. With being in compliance with the law, SEC regulations, and ethical it help Barnes and Noble have a good image with its customers as well as not having to face fines and fees. This help the company grow in the long run. Current Ratio
The current ratio is a calculation of financial liquidity and is used to measure a company’s ability to meet any short term debt obligations. It is calculated using the current assets and dividing them by the current liabilities. 2012| 206. 06%| 2011| 207. 33%| Debt Ratio The debt to assets ratio, also known as the debt ratio, is the company’s total liabilities divided by its total assets. This is known as a solvency ratio and it measures the amount of the company’s assets that have been financed through debt. 2012| 48. 53%| 2011| 48. 23%| Return on Equity
The return on equity or ROE ratio calculates the net income that is returned as a percentage of the shareholders equity. This ratio indicated a company’s profitability and shows how much profit a company generates with the money that was invested by the shareholders. The ROE is calculated by dividing the net income by the shareholders equity. 2012| (. 092%)| 2011| (. 090%)| Days Receivable To calculate the day’s receivable we divide the average accounts receivable by the sales multiplied by total operating days. This shows the amount of time that elapses between a sale and the receipt of payment.
This shows the financial structure of the company. 2012| 8. 22| 2011| 7. 84| References Barnes and Noble. (2005). SEC Filings. Retrieved from http://forinvestors. barnesandnobleinc. com/edgar. cfm? DocType=&DocTypeExclude=&SortOrder=FilingDate%20Descending&Year=&Pagenum=1 Code of business conduct and ethics. (2010, December 15). Retrieved from http://www. barnesandnobleinc. com/for_investors/governance/code_of_ethics/code_of_ethics. html Http://www. ag. ny. gov. (2012). Retrieved from http://www. ag. ny. gov/consumer_frauds/how-financial-markets-work