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Ethics Education in the Australian Accounting Curriculum: A Longitudinal Study Examining Barriers and Enablers


  • Steven Dellaportas
  • Sutharson Kanapathippillai
  • Arifur Khan
  • Philomena Leung


The increasing significance of ethics in the accounting profession is evidenced by the seminal events that witnessed the collapse of major corporations (e.g. Enron and WorldCom); regulatory interventions (e.g. Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the USA and the CLERP 9 Act in Australia); and calls for increased ethics interventions in the accounting curriculum. This project has two objectives: to investigate the nature of ethics education in the Australian accounting curriculum and how it has changed from 2000 to 2012; and to analyse the barriers to enhancing ethics education by soliciting the opinions of Heads of Departments/Schools of Australian universities. Compared with early empirical evidence, universities responded to the call for ethics education with increased levels of ethics intervention, but had failed to enhance the extent of ethics education coverage in the intervening period in which the data were collected. The lack of qualified staff and research opportunities represent major obstacles to the enhancement of ethics education.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Dellaportas & Sutharson Kanapathippillai & Arifur Khan & Philomena Leung, 2014. "Ethics Education in the Australian Accounting Curriculum: A Longitudinal Study Examining Barriers and Enablers," Accounting Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 362-382, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:accted:v:23:y:2014:i:4:p:362-382
    DOI: 10.1080/09639284.2014.930694

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew West & Sherrena Buckby, 2020. "Ethics Education in the Qualification of Professional Accountants: Insights from Australia and New Zealand," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 164(1), pages 61-80, June.
    2. Rosina Mladenovic & Nonna Martinov-Bennie & Amani Bell, 2019. "Business Students’ Insights into Their Development of Ethical Decision-Making," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 155(1), pages 275-287, March.
    3. Apostolou, Barbara & Dorminey, Jack W. & Hassell, John M. & Rebele, James E., 2015. "Accounting education literature review (2013–2014)," Journal of Accounting Education, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 69-127.
    4. Andrew West, 2018. "After Virtue and Accounting Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 21-36, March.
    5. Bonnie Amelia Dean & Stephanie Perkiss & Milica Simic Misic & Karina Luzia, 2020. "Transforming accounting curricula to enhance integrative learning," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 60(3), pages 2301-2338, September.

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