Attitudes of students and accounting practitioners concerning the ethical acceptability of earnings management

Journal of Business Ethics 14 (6):433 - 444 (1995)
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Abstract

There are many ways that accountants and managers can influence the reported accounting results of their organizational units. When such influence is directed at changing the amount of reported earnings, it is known as earnings management. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of surveys of undergraduate students, MBA students, and practicing accountants concerning their attitudes on the ethical acceptability of earnings management. Analysis of the survey results reveals how the attitudes of the three groups differ and what variables are associated with these differences. Based on the analysis, the authors suggest changes in accounting education curriculum and ethics awareness programs in business which might increase students'' and practitioners'' sensitivity to the ethical ramifications of earnings management.

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