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Ethics of Accountants and Auditors Essay

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In the past there have been several cases in the business environment related to the practices of accountants and auditors who have violated the trust and confidence of the public. A number of studies have been conducted in order to identify the potential factors resulting in unethical, biased or inappropriate decision making and judgments by the professionals. The aim of this paper is to review two relevant academic articles and evaluate the reliability of the claims and assertions made by the authors. The paper follows a critique style in order to gain some knowledge of the topic and enhance skills for a critical assessment of the information provided in research papers and published journals ( Behren & Losen, 2005).

The research paper of Pflugrath, Martinov-Bennie & Chen (2007) aims to analyze the impact of organizational codes of ethics on the accountants’ and auditors’ judgments and professional decision making skills. The research which was conducted on a sample of 112 professional accountants and auditing students, indicates that the codes of ethics positively influence the judgments of professional accountants but do not affect the students’ judgments. On the other hand, the paper by Shafer, Morrid & Ketchand (2001) is based on the research that was carried out with professional auditors regarding the impact of their personal values on their ethical judgments and behavioral intentions. The study concludes that personal values do not affect the ethical considerations and judgments of professional auditors. However, the knowledge and the understanding of moral intensity exert an impact on the judgment ability of the professional accountants.

Pfflugrath, Martinov-Bennie & Chen (2007) conducted the study basing their d...


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...des of ethics which are being set and exercised within the business environment and the perceptions of moral intensity which affect the judgments of the auditors. There are other determinants, as discussed by the articles, like the clients’ pressure and personal interest which may affect the quality of judgments and decision making in the fields of accounting and auditing but it would be shortsighted to ignore the 2 factors that are being discussed. Ethical judgment largely depends on the exercise of codes of ethics which provide autonomy to the auditors and accountants to work in the best interest of the business and not at the discretion of the client’s orders. Moreover, such codes of ethics, if exercised appropriately, may affect the values of auditors and accountants leading to the better and more independent from financial considerations business judgments.




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