Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 14, Issue 12, pp 997-1004

First online:

Ethics and the accountant

  • James Poon Teng FattAffiliated withSchool of Accountancy & Business, Nanyang Technological University

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Every profession requires special knowledge and skills, and each professional is expected to possess certain essential personal qualities. Likewise, in the accounting profession, accountancy students need to possess certain essential personal qualities that their employers look for. The growing concern over the ethics of professionals makes it important consider the perceptions of the public, students, and accountants of the values of accounts in the working world.

A questionnaire was given to a sample population of 500 which included the public, accounting students, and accountants. The questionnaire was designed to examine the personal qualities of accountants. From this study, the perceptions of the personal qualities of accountants are that accounts should be ethical and have integrity. These perceptions reflect the importance of ethics in the accounting profession. On other qualities, the public differ in perception from that of the students and accountants.