Journal of Business Ethics 139 (1):183-195 (2016)

Accounting literature has commonly judged the impact of regulation on auditors’ ethical commitment by studying daily audit practice. We argue that the content of the regulations themselves is an important determinant of such an impact. This paper evaluates the capacity of the content of regulation to promote audit ethics by reference to the European Union’s audit policy. Anchored in the extant conceptual perspectives on ethics, our analysis of relevant policy documents shows that the EU’s approach to audit ethics relates most strongly to the deontological perspectives on ethics and leaves largely unexplored other means of promoting auditors’ ethical stance, such as by stimulating virtue ethics. We find that it is the EU regulators’ restricted view of the conceptual foundations of audit ethics that limits the capacity of their policy to effectively stimulate auditors’ ethical commitment. The paper also discusses the potential implications of our analysis for the design of future audit policy.
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-015-2629-x
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After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
The Wealth of Nations.Adam Smith - 1976 - Hackett Publishing Company.

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