After Andersen: An experience of integrating ethics into undergraduate accounting education

David Christopher Molyneaux

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    25 Citations (Scopus)


    Ethical conduct in practice has been increasingly recognised as vital to the accountancy profession following the collapse of Andersen. The foundational principles underpinning accountancy ethics receive relatively uniform recognition worldwide so that this paper concentrates on exploring how to introduce these concepts into established courses at undergraduate level. Historically, the teaching of accounting techniques has been isolated from the personal assimilation of accountancy's ethical values by students. Alternative approaches are considered, of a dedicated 'capstone' ethical course or through more progressive integration within existing parts of an established curriculum. An opportunistic example of the latter is then described with the rationale, potential benefits, student reactions and practical difficulties assessed. Overall, the paper explains why, alongside technical skills, their personal development requires undergraduates to develop how to apply for themselves given professional values. It contributes suggestions as to methodologies, content and material for short modules within financial reporting, taxation, auditing and social/environmental accountancy courses while reflecting on the limitations and potential of their use.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)385-398
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Business Ethics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • accountancy ethics
    • Andersen
    • integration
    • undergraduate


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