An examination of the ethical commitment of professional accountants to auditor independence

Journal of Business Ethics 64 (2):169-193 (2006)
This research explores the relationship between work context and professional ethics. Specifically, we analyze through an online survey of professional accountants the degree to which changing work conditions have altered individual accountants ’ commitment to the core professional value of auditor independence. We argue that certain changes in the condition of work have made some categories of accountants more susceptible to the logic of commercialism rather than the logic of professionalism. We find general support for this argument. We observe that accountants working outside of public accounting have a higher commitment to independence than do accountants working in the context of public accounting firms. We further observe that accountants in large international accounting firms report lower commitment to auditor independence than do others in public accounting. And we observe that older accountants report stronger commitment to auditor independence. One finding, however, contradicts our general thesis. We find that commitment to one’s client does not necessarily result in a loss of commitment to the core professional value of independence. We conclude that changes in the context of work have contributed to the demise of ethics among professional accountants and suggest that further research be done to elaborate the relationship between client commitment and independence commitment
Keywords auditor independence  commercialism  client commitment  ethical commitment  organizational change  regulation  work
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,585
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Anthony Giddens (1990). The Consequences of Modernity. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
James Poon Teng Fatt (1995). Ethics and the Accountant. Journal of Business Ethics 14 (12):997 - 1004.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

30 ( #142,776 of 1,938,541 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #122,845 of 1,938,541 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.