The Once and Future Accountant: Ethics and the Future Outlook of the Us Accounting Profession

International Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Performance Evaluation, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 426-440, 2005

15 Pages Posted: 26 May 2006

See all articles by Mark Hale

Mark Hale

Blinn College

Ryan Huston

Texas A&M University

Murphy Smith

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi-Department of Accounting

Abstract

At the beginning of the 21st century, the ethical values of the U.S. accounting profession were tarnished by major corporate failures and questionable accounting practices. How has this affected the profession, specifically, the perceptions of current and future accountants? This research study examines perceptions regarding the trustworthiness and integrity of the accounting profession. Perceptions were obtained from accounting practitioners, accounting educators, and future practitioners (students). In addition, an historical overview of accounting, the function of auditing in the capital markets, and the regulation of auditing in the U.S. are briefly examined. Survey results indicate that, compared to accounting practitioners and educators, students are generally more concerned about events surrounding the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and feel a stronger need for changes to enhance confidence in the capital markets. Concerning the future of the accounting profession, significant differences of opinion exist among groups. Public accountants are the most optimistic about the future, followed by students, then faculty and industry accountants.

Keywords: ethics, public interest, accounting, auditing, accounting regulation.

JEL Classification: M00

Suggested Citation

Hale, Mark and Huston, Ryan and Smith, Murphy, The Once and Future Accountant: Ethics and the Future Outlook of the Us Accounting Profession. International Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Performance Evaluation, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 426-440, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=904409

Mark Hale

Blinn College ( email )

Bryan, TX 77801
United States

Ryan Huston

Texas A&M University ( email )

Langford Building A
798 Ross St.
College Station, TX 77843-3137
United States

Murphy Smith (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi-Department of Accounting ( email )

6300 Ocean Dr
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
United States

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