An Analysis of International Accounting Codes of Conduct

Journal of Business Ethics 87 (1):173 - 183 (2009)

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has recently issued a revised "Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants" (IFAC Code). As a requirement for membership in IFAC, a national accounting organization must either adopt the IFAC Code or adopt a code of conduct that is not "less stringent" than the IFAC Code. In this paper, we examine the extent to which 158 national accounting organizations have adopted the revised IFAC Code as their own. Our results indicate that 80 of our sample organizations have adopted the IFAC Code (sometimes with minor modifications), while the remaining 78 opted not to utilize the model IFAC Code. We then test the hypothesis that national accounting organizations in lower income economies would be less likely to adopt the IFAC Code than those in high income economies. Our results do not support the hypothesis. We argue that one potential reason for such a finding is that adopting the IFAC Code may be a cost effective means of adopting a code of ethics for organizations in lower income economies
Keywords accounting profession  codes of conduct  codes of ethics  IFAC
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-008-9811-3
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