THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF INCORPORATING ACCOUNTING ETHICS INTO THE ACCOUNTING CURRICULUM by ProQuest

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        THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF
         INCORPORATING ACCOUNTING ETHICS
          INTO THE ACCOUNTING CURRICULUM

                        Jan Williams, University of Baltimore
                      Raymond J Elson, Valdosta State University

                                             ABSTRACT

        It is critical that accounting educators prepare students to address issues, such as ethics, that
they are likely to encounter in their careers. The accounting scandals of the 21st century have
caused the public to criticize the ethical standards of the accounting profession. Accounting
organizations have called for increased coverage of ethics in accounting curriculums. Yet, research
shows that only minimal time is being spent on ethics in accounting courses. Numerous state boards
of accountancy have adopted the 150-hour requirement to sit for the CPA exam; therefore making
room for additional courses such as a separate accounting ethics course in the accounting
curriculum. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s (NASBA) proposal to
include a separate accounting course in the curriculum was not adopted by accounting educators.
The authors still advocate that a separate accounting course in accounting ethics has merit. This
paper discusses some of the challenges and opportunities surrounding the teaching of accounting
ethics as part of the accounting curriculum.

Key Words: Accounting Education, Ethics

                                         INTRODUCTION

        The accounting scandals in the early 2000s have had a devastating effect on the reputation
of the accounting profession. The public perceives the scandals as a lack of ethics in the profession.
Who is to blame for this demise? Russell and Smith (2003) point their fingers at academia. They
noted:

        If we are looking for a primary contributing cause of corporate malfeasance at firms
        such as Enron, Equity Funding, WorldCom, Sunbeam, Arthur Andersen, and
        HealthSouth, we need to look no further than the classrooms of colleges and
        university accounting programs that have not significantly adapted their methods of


                    Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues, Volume 13, Number 1, 2010
106

       instruction or approach to accounting and management education over the last 50-
       60 years (p.1).

         Since the Bedford Committee report was issued in 1986, the American Institute of Certified
Public Accountants (AICPA), the American Accounting Association (AAA), the Accounting
Education Change Commission (AECC), and the National Commission on Fraudulent Financial
Reporting (NCFFR) have all called for increa
								
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