Title: The once and future accountant: ethics and the future outlook of the US accounting profession

Authors: Mark W. Hale, Ryan Huston, L. Murphy Smith

Addresses: Department of Business, Blinn College, Bryan, TX 77801, USA. ' Department of Accounting, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4353, USA. ' Department of Accounting, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4353, USA

Abstract: This research study examines perceptions regarding the trustworthiness and integrity of the accounting profession. Perceptions were obtained from accounting practitioners, accounting educators, and future practitioners (students). Survey results indicate that, compared to accounting practitioners and educators, students are generally more concerned about events surrounding the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and feel a stronger need for changes to enhance confidence in the capital markets. Concerning the future of the accounting profession, significant differences of opinion exist among groups. Public accountants are the most optimistic about the future, followed by students, then faculty and industry accountants.

Keywords: ethics; public interest; accounting; auditing; accounting regulation; USA; United States; trustworthiness; integrity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAAPE.2005.009595

International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, 2005 Vol.2 No.4, pp.426 - 440

Published online: 02 May 2006 *

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