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
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: Suggested Citation