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Accounting and the ethics challenge: Re-membering the professional body

Cowton, Christopher J. (2008) Accounting and the ethics challenge: Re-membering the professional body. Working Paper. Financial Ethics and Governance Research Group University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK. (Unpublished)

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      Abstract

      Based on the P.D. Leake Lecture given at Chartered Accountants’ Hall in May 2007,
      this paper looks beyond recent financial reporting ‘scandals’ to consider the ‘standing
      challenge’ that ethics represents for accountants and the professional bodies that
      represent them. It examines the notion of a profession and argues for a position that
      recognizes both the potential benefits of professionalization and the self-serving
      tendencies to which professions can be prone. Such a position entails a view that the
      outcome of professionalization for society is a contingent matter rather than an
      inevitability (whether positive or negative) and therefore something that is worth
      attempting to influence. In developing the argument, two major areas from the
      business ethics/corporate social responsibility literature, oriented towards business
      enterprises but also of relevance to professional bodies, are reviewed: whether being
      ethical ‘pays’ in financial terms; and whether formal codes are useful in promoting
      ethical behaviour. The paper concludes by positing three models of the professional
      body and contending for a renewed notion of membership if professional bodies are to
      function as effective ‘moral communities’.

      Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
      Additional Information: © The author, 2008 A slightly amended version of this paper has been accepted for publication in the 2009 International Accounting Policy Forum special issue of Accounting and Business Research. A pre-publication version can be found on the ICAEW website at http://www.icaew.com/index.cfm?route=148552
      Uncontrolled Keywords: financial ethics; accounting; chartered accountants;governance
      Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
      H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
      Schools: The Business School
      The Business School > Financial Ethics and Governance Research Group
      Related URLs:
      References:

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      Depositing User: Sara Taylor
      Date Deposited: 02 May 2008 12:21
      Last Modified: 28 Jul 2010 19:22
      URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/711

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