Ethics and auditing profession

Title: Ethics in the auditing profession: A comparison between auditors and student

In the recent decades the auditing profession has been faced by several corporate scandals. These scandals have brought up a lot of attention in media. It is mainly the scandals in the USA such as Enron that have indicated the lack of ethics at the executive levels

Methodology: In order to achieve the purpose of the study, we have chosen to apply both a quantitative- and a qualitative approach. To investigate the level of ethical reasoning we have conducted a survey on 50 auditors and 50 accounting students. This was followed up by three in-depth interviews with three auditors who participated in the survey. Theoretical framework: The theory is divided into three major areas; ethics in business, ethics in auditing and ethical reasoning in decision making. The theory starts with a wider perspective to end with the theory concerning the main problem.Empirical findings: The results from the survey and the interviews are presented in an empirical discussion.


1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Problem discussion
1.2.1 Main problem
1.3 Purpose
1.4 Outline
2 Methodology
2.1 Quantitative and qualitative approach
2.2 Deductive approach
2.3 Data collection
2.4 Sample
2.5 Survey
2.6 Interviews
2.7 Validity & Reliability
3 Theoretical framework
3.1 Ethics in business
3.1.1 Corporate scandals
3.1.2 US vs. European approach
3.2 Ethics in auditing
3.2.1 Students
3.2.2 Codes of ethics
3.2.3 Codes of ethics in a Swedish perspective
3.3 Ethical reasoning in decision-making
3.3.1 Cognitive moral development
3.4 Summary
4 Empirical findings
4.1 Ethics in business
4.2 Ethics in auditing
4.2.1 Students
4.2.2 Codes of ethics in a Swedish perspective
4.3 Ethical reasoning in decision-making
4.3.1 Ethical dilemma
5 Analysis
5.1 Ethics in business
5.2 Ethics in auditing
5.2.1 Students
5.2.2 Codes of ethics
5.3 Ethical reasoning in decision-making
5.3.1 Cognitive moral development
6 Conclusion
7 Suggestions for further studies
List of References

Author: Wennerholm, Caroline,Larsson, Marie

Source: Jönköping University

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