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The ethics of final year accountancy students: an international comparison

The ethics of final year accountancy students: an international comparison Ethical behaviour is a critical component of the accountancy/auditing profession. This study examines ethical attitudes of final year accountancy students in Ireland and Australia. Students were surveyed as to whether they would accept a bribe and/or cheat in an exam. Their attitudes towards whistleblowing - if they became aware of improprieties such as bribery and cheating - were also reviewed. Of the students, 58 per cent of Irish and 23 per cent of Australian appeared willing to participate in fraud. These percentages plummeted when the risk of being caught was introduced. Males appeared between two and four times more likely than females to act unethically. A total of 56 per cent of Irish and 28 per cent of Australians appeared willing to cheat in an exam with the difference between male and female students being significantly reduced. Again the risk of being caught drastically reduced these figures. Just greater than 50 per cent of Australian and just under 50 per cent of Irish students appeared willing to be whistleblowers. It appears as if educators still have a long way to go as regards providing effective ethical education for trainee accountants/auditors. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Managerial Auditing Journal Emerald Publishing

The ethics of final year accountancy students: an international comparison

Managerial Auditing Journal , Volume 15 (3): 8 – Apr 1, 2000

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0268-6902
DOI
10.1108/02686900010319366
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Ethical behaviour is a critical component of the accountancy/auditing profession. This study examines ethical attitudes of final year accountancy students in Ireland and Australia. Students were surveyed as to whether they would accept a bribe and/or cheat in an exam. Their attitudes towards whistleblowing - if they became aware of improprieties such as bribery and cheating - were also reviewed. Of the students, 58 per cent of Irish and 23 per cent of Australian appeared willing to participate in fraud. These percentages plummeted when the risk of being caught was introduced. Males appeared between two and four times more likely than females to act unethically. A total of 56 per cent of Irish and 28 per cent of Australians appeared willing to cheat in an exam with the difference between male and female students being significantly reduced. Again the risk of being caught drastically reduced these figures. Just greater than 50 per cent of Australian and just under 50 per cent of Irish students appeared willing to be whistleblowers. It appears as if educators still have a long way to go as regards providing effective ethical education for trainee accountants/auditors.

Journal

Managerial Auditing JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 1, 2000

Keywords: Accounting; Auditing; Whistleblowing

References