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Amanda Skonezney

I am a senior accounting major and anthropology minor at Bucknell University. I am also apart of the division I women's water polo team. I currently live in Harrisburg, PA. After graduation, I plan on going into tax and earning my CPA.
Amanda Skonezney has written 13 posts for business government society 2

Reducing Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Costs for Small Public Companies


The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) has been in place for nearly a decade. The elements of the act have conflict controversy between Congress, the SEC, investors, public accounting firms, and public companies. Many feel as though costs associated with the act are higher than the benefits, especially the public companies. However, it has been proven that investor confidence has increased since the act was instated (Wolkoff). An even bigger issue is over the disproportional costs of complying with SOX between small and large companies. Small companies operate very differently compared to large companies but they are still expected to meet all of SOX requirements. There is much evidence that these extra costs stem from increased audit fees, complying with Section 404, and from having to hire more employees and consultants. These costs are causing many small public companies to deregister, go dark, or merge in order to absorb the extra costs.

The amount of IPO’s has decreased over the years and has hurt the American economy. The economy is in a recession and one solution is to increase the number of IPOs. An increase in IPO’s would provide more investor opportunity as well as create more jobs. In order to get more private companies to go public and keep small public companies public, SOX compliance costs need to be lower for small companies. I have made three recommendations that would help to lower SOX compliance costs. The first recommendation is to establish a three tier system in which public companies are divided into three different sized groups. Each bracket would have a different set of requirements that matches their cost capability and company structure. A second recommendation is for the PCAOB to release a compliance road map that would help small companies meet SOX standards and to provide private companies with a process for complying. The last recommendation is for the PCAOB to publish a pamphlet that would give advice to small public companies on how to be more cost effective and efficient. There are multiple ways in which public companies can help themselves.

Childhood Obesity Epidemic


Childhood obesity is at an all-time high as about one-third of the United States children are considered obese. This growing rate is alarming as more and more children are having health problems such as diabetes, liver disease, and cardiovascular problems. These children are learning bad health habits at a young age that will carry over into their adulthood where they further increase the risk of health problems. In order to fix this epidemic, there has been involvement by the government, health institutions, and campaigns. While the government can create laws that regulate what children are exposed to at school, they cannot control their eating habits at home. Thus, the most productive way to change childhood obesity is to have good role models, especially the parents or guardians. Parents can control what they purchase at the store and what they prepare for their children. By constantly supplying children with healthy options, they keep obesity down and teach healthy eating habits for the future. It is also important for parents and guardians to encourage children to play outside and not sit around and watch TV or play video games all day. Technology has provided non-active entertainment for children, making it more difficult for children to be motivated to be active outside. Parents and guardians can also change this by not supplying children with lots of video games and by encouraging children to participate in activities with them.

Hit List is a Great Hit


I started to look through the books that were on display in the fiction section near the café seating area and Hit List immediately caught my attention. As I mentioned in my blog post about St. Louis, this book is a part of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series that I like to read. I am an avid fantasy reader and this book series is very interesting to me (especially if I want to visit St. Louis because of it). The Hit List, by Laurell K Hamilton, is the latest book of the series and is the one that I have not read yet. I haven’t read it yet since I like to wait for the books to come out of paperback in order to match my whole collection.

After reading the preview that was provided on the inside cover as well as leafing through a couple of chapters, I got a good understanding of what the novel was going to be about. Basically, the most dangerous and power vampire, the Mother of All Darkness (similar to the idea of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named from Harry Potter), is escaping from a deep trance and is looking for a body to possess. She wants to possess someone that is not only a threat to her existence but is also very powerful so naturally she wants Anita Blake’s body. Anita Blake is the main character who is deeply involved in the supernatural world. She is also a necromancer as well as many other things.  Anita Blake is called on a police case involving murders that have been occurring by some form of “monster”. She works with the police on many supernatural mysteries since she is a Federal Marshal. She is known to the supernatural world as “The Executioner” and Edward, who also called in on the case, is who known as “Death”. The case as it turns out is a trap by the Harlequin (they serve the Mother of All Darkness) to get close to Anita. Overall, this book is filled with violence, sex and action and looks like another thriller created by Hamilton. I am excited to get the chance to read it once the semester is over and I have some free time.

Trying to relate Hit List to something that we discussed in class was very difficult. However, in my attempt to make some kind of connection I made a really big stretch and related it to Walzer’s complex equality. If you view the Mother of All Darkness as a company and the other people as social goods, then the Mother of All Darkness would dominate. She is attempting to control and exploit the social goods in a way that would create a monopoly. This would not create equality according to Walzer as he argues that there should be a reduction of dominance. Therefore, he would not approve of the Mother of All Darkness’s actions.

I know this is a mighty big stretch but it was the only thing that I could really think of to relate the Hit List to something we discussed in class. On another note, I encourage anyone that is interested in starting this addicting series. My boyfriend started reading them this winter and can’t seem to put them down!

Employers Creative Use of Facebook


Social media and social networking sites are becoming more and more popular in today’s world as a means of communication and marketing. The most used social media site that has emerged is Facebook which is used by all groups of society. Approximately 45% of employers (who the exact employers are is inaccessible due to confidentiality issues) are using Facebook as a means for screening potential job applicants (Rosen). Employers have recently started asking candidates for their username and passwords as part of the job hiring process (Castillo). If candidates say no, they are immediately eliminated from the job pool which is detrimental in a time when unemployment rates are relatively high. The process of employers viewing candidate’s profiles and now even requesting their user name and password has brought up ethical and legal questions concerning privacy rights. While employers “believe they have the right to obtain as much information as possible about applicants” by using social networking sites, many others feel it is an invasion of privacy (Byrnside, 458). The legality of the issue is being explored in the courts but the ethics of the employer is still in question. By utilizing Robert Nozick’s Entitlement Theory to understand the ethical issues that stem from this dilemma, I feel as though the employers are not entitled to access candidate’s Facebook profiles. Continue reading

Paper 2


So I have decided to look into Facebook for my paper 2 topic. Employers are now using Facebook as a screening process for job candidates. This is costing about 35% of those screened the position based on inappropriate content found. Recently, employers have begun to ask candidates for their passwords or to log on to view their profiles during an interview. This raises both legal and ethical questions.

As I have written up the actual case so far, I have found that I have developed two questions.
1. Are employers entitled to view candidate’s Facebook profiles by bypassing their privacy settings?
2. Are employers entitled to ask for a candidate’s password?

I have answered question 1 using Nozick’s Entitlement theory, however, I am now stuck on how to proceed. I don’t know if it would be beneficial to answer the second question using Nozick or should I concentrate on the first question only and compare that to Rawls? Or should I do both?

SOX causes Companies to go Dark


Since I am an accounting major, I have gained a major interest in government policies that may affect my future. I also have enjoyed learning about many accounting frauds that have taken place (especially since some companies went to great lengths to cover up what they were doing, check out ZZZZ Best for example). One of the major policies that has been passed and we have discussed in class is the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002. The article that we read for class analyzed the effects of the act shortly after it was implemented. As a result, I want to see if any results and analyses have changed.

 SOX was implemented after the Enron and WorldCom scandals. It was the government’s quick response and solution to the mistrust the public was gaining of big corporations.  SOX implemented many regulations on auditors and companies in order to make sure no more economic disasters would occur in the future (the financial crisis of 2008?). For my white paper, I want to explore the actual effects of SOX on society, companies, and auditing firms. Continue reading

The Gateway to the West


A place that I have never been but am very interested in visiting is St. Louis, Missouri. In my spare time, I enjoy reading fantasy books and one of favorite series takes place in St. Louis. The series is by Laurell K. Hamiltonand her 22 book series (all of which are not completed yet) is called Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter. The series is about Anita Blake, a powerful sassy woman who has the power to raise the dead (it is also her occupation) and her increasing involvement with the supernatural world. In the series, the supernatural coexist with the humans and everyone is subject to the law. Since I have been reading this series since high school, St. Louis has become quite an interest of mine. I would love to visit the place that some of my favorite fictional characters live and die.

Laurell K. Hamilton

When I think and envision St. Louis, the first thing that comes to my mind is the symbol of the city, the St. Louis Gateway Arch. The Arch was designed by Eero Saarinen and Hannskarl Bandel and was finished building in 1965. The arch is a part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and is the tallest man-made monument. It is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River and symbolizes the “Gateway to the West”. Since it is such an important monument of the city, I wanted to further my understanding of what the Arch symbolizes for the city and if that coincides with the view that I have developed of the city through the descriptions provided in the Anita Blake series. Continue reading

Drama in Beverly Hills


One of my guilty pleasures is watching trashy, reality TV. One of my favorite shows is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo. Over winter break I got to catch up on the season and even got my dad into it! The show’s cast involves elite housewives in Beverly Hills who are in the same circle of friends. They all have very strong personalities and therefore there is a lot of drama that occurs on the show. The six major housewives include Taylor Armstrong, Lisa Vanderpump, Kyle Richards, Kim Richards, Camille Grammer, and Adrienne Maloof as well as one of their common “friends” Brandi Glanville.

In the episode, Uninvited of season 2, a lot of drama unfolded at Kyle’s annual White Party. The party is held at Kyle’s house and includes all white decor and the guests have a dress code of white. All of the housewives were invited but of course there was bound to be an issue between at least two of the housewives. Camille, who was already at the party, didn’t feel comfortable with Taylor’s husband, Russell, coming to the party. Camille had repeated some of things that Taylor had told her about her abusive relationship with Russell. Continue reading

Pass me the ball, I’m open!


Athleticism is one of the main components of my personal identity. I consider myself to be pretty athletic and very competitive when it comes to sports. I grew up playing three sports (water polo, swimming, and softball) and succeeded in all three. Over the past three summers I have been a beach lifeguard in Corolla, NC where I have participated in big lifeguarding competitions and placed in multiple events in the South Atlantic Region. At Bucknell, I am a co-captain of the women’s water polo team (where we just went 4-1 this past weekend!) and have started all four years. Sports have consumed and play an important component of my life.

From my personal experience, I still see a large part of American society being sexist towards women’s athletics. For example, during high school gym class, we would play all sorts of co-ed sports including softball, basketball, handball, volleyball, and tennis. When it came time to the team sports, I would always become very frustrated. During handball for example, the boys would never pass me the ball even when I was wide open, in a scoring position, and calling for the ball. It was discouraging and frustrating and I ended up just walking back and forth on the court since there was no hope for me to get to participate. I have not only experienced this discrimination on the field but also by the attendance to female sporting events versus men. The men’s water polo team here at Bucknell will have the stands packed during their home games while the women’s team will have maybe a quarter of the attendance (mostly family). Continue reading

Like to travel? Wanderfly.


After skimming through many successful young entrepreneurs, Christy Liu caught my eye. According to Fast Company, Liu is one of eleven that is a part of the change generation. Liu is a cofounder of the travel site Wanderfly (check it out!). Traveling is something that I wished I had the time and money to do more often. After checking out the site, I was immediately interested in knowing more since the site offered me ways to budget the future traveling that I want to do.

Wanderfly is designed to plan travel for people that are on a budget. The site is very simple and organized, unlike many of its competitors, and allows a user to find a trip that meets many of their requirements. The user of the site will fill in where they want to leave from, where they want to go, what interests them (landmarks, nightlife, luxury, adventure, entertainment, family, watersports, eco, romance, shopping, outdoors, islands, beach, singles, history, food, art, and extreme), their budget per person, when they want to travel, and for how many days. After filling in their information, the traveler will be presented with multiple trip options. Each option includes a description of the place, pictures, things to do there, and hotels and flights that can be booked immediately. Continue reading

Speedo-Sponsoring the Olympics and Sweatshops


Speedo is a name brand that I have become quite familiar with over my lifetime. I started swimming at the age of six and started to play water polo by the age of 14. I have been in the water almost every day of my life and Speedo has been right there with me. I have purchased suits, caps, and goggles from the company every year and their brand has become one of my favorite water gear brands. Their products are popular and I have never had an issue with them. They are known for their innovative technology by producing new fast skins that are supposed to help shave off a couple tenths of a second (which makes all the difference in the swimming world).

On the surface, Speedo appears to be an ethnically run company due to its huge popularity among the water sport world. Speedo’s website is very organized and even has an extensive page donated to its ethical policies and code of conduct for business. In its policies it addresses issues regarding its role as a business and to stakeholders; lists its standards of behavior towards its employees, customers, suppliers, and the wider community; and other matters including competition, financial matters, confidentiality, and understanding and compliance. The ethical policy also goes on to list its environmental policies, employment standards policy, and code of employment standards for suppliers. Continue reading

A Revolution in our Midst


With the economy in a recession and society’s trust in business at a low, Fuse Corps is a revolutionary venture that hopes to help solve these problems. In the blog Spring Wise, a blog post titled “Entrepreneurs matched with government leaders on grassroots projects” explains briefly the point and plan behind Fuse Corps. Fuse Corps is a one year program that hires 10 to 20 entrepreneurs who have high energy, at least eight years of experience, and great leadership skills to work side by side with mayors, governors, or social entrepreneurs. Starting this upcoming March, those selected with attend a two week leadership program and then be divided into working in either a “cabinet-level” position or with community-based organizations. They will be paid either based on a salary or on a stipend.

After further research on the Fuse Corps, I found that the venture is meant to offer a fresh approach to solving society problems that the government has so far been unable to complete. The program’s goals are to create a new generation of leaders that can solve problems from the ground up. The program is promoting a REVOLUTION!
Continue reading

Business Ethics: Practice versus Concept


According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, there is a difference between the concept of business ethics and what is actually put into practice. There are many debates among academic business ethicists over the different aspects of business ethics. However, in my opinion, these debates focus only on the conceptual ideas behind business ethics and what they think should be taught in universities throughout the country instead of on practical and helpful information regarding ethics. Another issue is that the business ethics discussed in this article only revolve around large, publically traded companies. In reality, this type of business is a minority compared to the multiple styles of business so the article cannot really represent all business ethics.

In the article, business ethics is discussed in segments starting with the history, the role of the corporation, employment relations, international business ethics, and criticisms. The history section of the article is pretty Continue reading

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Blog 5 before session 6 What (interest) or Who (person) Inspires You? For this week’s prompt, the Blog Council wants you to examine how this class relates to your own interests. So, please write about how this class relates to some of your own intellectual or other learning interests. We are NOT interested in how it relates to a specific career goal. Plan B: same idea, but based on a person. See whole post for details.

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