Academic journal article Journal of Management Research

The Extent of Accounting Ethics Education for Bachelor Students in Jordanian Universities

Academic journal article Journal of Management Research

The Extent of Accounting Ethics Education for Bachelor Students in Jordanian Universities

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the extent of ethics education for the undergraduate degree in accounting at public and private Jordanian Universities. A thematic content analysis methodology is conducted to interpret the collected Forty-Four syllabi for four courses offered in the universities which represent the sample of the study. These courses are Auditing, Islamic Accounting, Accounting Theory and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) that given in the year 2013.

The results of the study show significant existence of ethics coverage into the undergraduate accounting curriculum specially in "auditing" course as a module of the study across Jordanian Universities. The study recommends Business Faculties in Jordan to encourage extracurricular activities orientations for further support of ethics integration through designing the accounting curriculum in professional way to prepare students to their future career.

Keywords: Accounting Curriculum, Accounting Ethics Education, Accounting Profession, Jordanian Universities.

1. Introduction

The financial collapses of business pioneers such as Enron, WorldCom, Sunbeam, AIG, Tyco and HealthSouth raised critical question to ethics teaching of the involved auditors and accountants (Jennings, 2004). Ethics education in accounting should endeavor to humanize accounting students, that it should generate a sense of moral commitment towards society. In developed countries, the accounting ethics education have been argued deeply and widely for many years ago like time shortage, lack of academics' background and material, curriculum standardization (McPhail, 2001).

Some universities in developed countries have stressed, that business faculties should include accounting ethics courses in their curriculum. Recently, in the United States, the style of business education has become more serious, because of blowing up of the economic bubble in USA and discovery of misconduct, unethical behavior of senior managers and business illegal practices (Emiliani, 2004).

Treadway Commission and Bedford Committee both asked for a larger emphasis on and inclusion of ethics in accounting and business courses. The American Accounting Association (AAA) obtained the attention of business schools by stating the importance of including ethics in accounting curriculum (AAA, 1986). The Association to Advanced Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) stressed on including ethics in curriculum. According to the International Education Standard (IES 4), education forces need to treat themselves with ethical issues in a participative and positive way such as recognizing connections between ethical behavior and corporate failure and fraud (Calyurt, 2007).

In 1992, International Federation of Accounting (IFAC) declared the education manual: Ethics for accountants, Education Challenges and Practical Application. The recommendation of the manual that accounting ethics should take place in the curricula, and the student should be motivated to behave ethically. After that, IFAC has released the researches' results about accounting ethics education around the world, the findings stated that there was positive feedback related to the lack and scope of ethics education for accountants. There is a pervasive belief that ethics education is important to confirm coverage in the range of ethical issues which faced accountants in business firms, non-profit units and the government (IFAC, 2006).

AASCB has published a one hour obligatory ethics course in business faculties, but more than 150 professors sent a written request to AACSB reporting that a one hour obligatory course is not enough, and a four hours course coverage is integrated into each of the core course (Swanson, 2003).

The business environment is passing deep changes, pushed by powerful demographic shifts, global economic pressures and emerging technologies (AACSB, 2013). Meanwhile, society is incrementally demanding that firms become more accountable for their conducts, display a greater sense of social liability, and adopt more sustainable practices. …

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