Ethics and the accountant

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Social and professional expectations may be undergoing a major shift as Canada moves to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) effective this year. To date, industry focus has been mainly on the technical aspects of IFRS adoption: however, IFRS also is likely to impact the ethical aspect of accountants' professional judgment because IFRS requires the use of a more "principled" approach to accounting standards than previously required by Canadian General Accepted Accounting Practices. With the adoption of a more principled approach to accounting standards, the ethical aspect of accountants' professional judgment takes on a greater importance. The authors surveyed 215 Canadian accountants in private industry and in public practice to find out -- before Canada moves to IFRS -- how Canadian accountants tend to think about ethical issues. The authors found that Canadian accountants predominantly use conventional ethical thinking, with about 40% using principled ethical thinking and about 5% using pre-conventional ethical thinking.


Copyright 2011 Society of Management Accountants of Canada

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Publication Title

CMA Magazine

Published Citation

Thorne, L., & Massey, D. (2011). Ethics and the accountant. CMA Magazine, 85(1), 30-31.