Rules vs. Principles

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					Rules vs. Principles
Michael Kraten
The CPA Journal; Apr 2009; 79, 4; Docstoc
pg. 60




Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Furt
				
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Description: As the US accounting profession continues its relentless march toward a system of standards based on principles, one business school is adapting its curriculum accordingly and is discovering that personality affects how students approach the audit process in unexpected ways. At the Sawyer Business School (SBS) of Suffolk University in Boston, students enrolled in the "capstone" public accounting course complete a training exercise that places them in the role of an auditor who needs to discuss a prospective audit adjustment with a client. In SBS's capstone class, students with rules-oriented personalities consistently produced agreements with more stringent audit adjustments when playing the roles of auditors in a principles-based milieu. Behavioral researchers believe that cognitive processes of judgment and decision making can be mapped through rigorous experimentation; the accounting faculty at SBS is beginning to apply such research activities to its audit discussion exercises. Such cognitive processes tend to be followed by individuals with rules-oriented personalities.
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