Review of "Accounting Ethics and the Near Collapse of the World's Financial System", by Michel Pakaluk and Mark Cheffers (Allen David Press, Sutton Massachusetts, 2011)
The book is a revision of prior version that was intended as a text for teaching accounting students about ethics, as well as a book about ethics for professional accountants. As such, the current book serves a useful purpose. Educating accounting students and practicing professionals is an important activity which should be encouraged. This organization outline is similar to the previous edition of the book, and much of the material is the same or similar, with the primary emphasis of the authors being directed towards instilling “virtue” ethics, as espoused by Alasdair MacIntyre, and based in turn on Platonic and Aristolian notions of ethics.The primary short-coming with the current edition of the book appears to involve the title, in which it is implied that accounting ethics had something to do with the “near collapse of the world’s financial system”. There is effectively no evidence that a failure of accounting ethics contributed to the financial crisis of 2008-2009. Alleging a connection between accounting ethics and the worldwide financial crisis is misleading at best and it tends to confuse students. While it is certainly important to encourage high standards of ethical conduct among accounting students and practicing accounting professionals, to make unfounded assertions about linkages between failures of accounting ethics and financial crises is tenuous at best.
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Volume (Year): 2 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
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