Proposal to Investigate Formal Ethics Teachings for Accounting Students

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Proposal to Investigate Formal Ethics Teachings for Accounting Students

September 22, 2011
A. Introduction
The importance of business ethics is increasing by the hour. Proof for this is one business scandal after another that fills our daily newspapers and business journals. Obviously not all business students today intend to get involved in unethical behavior. Nevertheless, some may be involved in serious law suits ten years from today. The reason for this may be simply because they did not know how to properly handle these so called gray area. Growing up, we all experienced that not knowing the rules will not protect us from punishment. This is a simple rule that also applies to the juristic system. To make matters even more complex, as a result of globalization, people with significant sociological, cultural, and ethical backgrounds from all over the world come together in one place. As a result, companies cannot assume that all of their employees share the same ethical understanding. Ethics are important for all areas of business, but while it is taught and empathized to management and finance students, accounting students often only get the cliff notes version of the ethics curriculum. However, Haas (2005), a writer for The CPA Journal, says that CPA firms expect their new college hires to know professional ethical behavior. While some people argue that ethics cannot be taught to adults, incorporating formal ethics education into the accounting undergraduate curriculum is essential, because accountants are the heart of any business and are exposed to the temptation of unethical behavior daily. B. Statement of the Problem

Many people argue that ethics cannot be taught to adults in a formal business setting. Those people argue that ethics are developed throughout childhood and cannot be changed later in life. As this may be true, raising awareness of ethical and unethical behavior will decrease the possibility of unethical actions. The...
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