oa Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences - A study of the ethical views of final year South African accounting students, using vignettes as examples



The aim of this paper is to gauge the ethical views of male and female final year Accounting students in South Africa and to compare the results with similar studies performed in Australia and Ireland. The study also discusses the desirability of including an ethics course in the Accounting curriculum as a strategy to improve the ethical standing of the accounting profession.

The most important self-reported factor that influenced students' ethical behaviour was the fear of getting caught. It was recommended that professional accountancy bodies should be more transparent in respect of their disciplinary procedures in order to discourage unethical behaviour. Ethics training initiatives should also address whistleblowing, and whistleblowing should be encouraged. Furthermore, universities should integrate ethics more fully into all courses in the Accounting curriculum of prospective professional accountants.


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