The Importance of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for Accounting Education
Advances in Accounting Education: Teaching and Curriculum Innovations, Volume 16, 2015
Posted: 30 Jan 2015 Last revised: 11 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 28, 2015
Purpose: Discuss the importance of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) to accounting education.
Methodology/approach: This study first examines the current trends and events underlying the reasons for increasing the incorporation of the FCPA and related anti-bribery issues into the accounting curriculum. Then best practices of increasing FCPA coverage and presenting the material to students are presented and explained.
Findings: The recent increase in FCPA and anti-bribery prosecutions, the penalties assessed, and the costs of internal investigation and compliance are significant. In addition, corruption is a way of life in many countries. Thus, the need for consultants, auditors, and accounting firms knowledgeable about FCPA issues is growing, especially as the FCPA has a books and records provision and demands effective internal control. However, universities have been slow to acknowledge this trend. Pedagogical strategies for including FCPA issues in the accounting curriculum range from incorporating role-playing and developing case studies in existing classes to creating separate stand-alone FCPA and antibribery classes.
Social implications: Accounting students, during their future business careers, will be better prepared to identify, evaluate, and choose appropriate actions/responses when faced with FCPA and bribery situations.
Originality/value of study: Despite the underlying trends that indicate the importance of integrating FCPA issues into the accounting education, many universities have lagged in introducing this subject area into their curriculum. This study is the first to provide the rationale and multiple pedagogical methods for facilitating accounting student education about identifying FCPA issues and selecting proper responses.
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