THE RELEVANCE OF ACCOUNTING ETHICS IN ACCOUNTING EDUCATION
This study examines the relevance of accounting ethics in accounting education.The accounting profession is being threatened because of high expectations from the public and their beliefs that embezzlement, bribery and corruption have become prominent in our society including the accounting profession. The broad objective of the study is to find out the significant relationship between accounting ethics and accounting education and also to find out if the moral principles contained in accountant membership handbook influence members’ behavior positively. The survey research design is used in this study and a sample size of 50 was used which was chosen from the population of accountants working in accounting firms in Edo State. The chi-square statistical tool was used to test the stipulated hypotheses and the findings revealed that there is significant relationship between accounting ethics and accounting education and that the moral principles contained in accountant membership handbook influence members’ behavior positively. It is recommended amongst others that building a robust ethic infrastructure that is self-sustaining will go a long way in strengthening accounting education. Keywords: Ethics, Accounting ethics, Accounting education, code of ethics
1.1 Background to the Study
The issue of what is right or wrong, particularly in relation to human conduct, behavior and attitude is the focus of what is known as ethics: There are basically two ways to determine the meaning of ethics. Etymologically, ethics is derived from a Latin word that means customary. While ethics is derived from the Greek word which means customary behavior, moral and character (Inegbenebor, 2012). But the focal point of this work is to relate the word ethics to the accounting profession, and to carry out a form of appraisal on the performance of accountants as concern ethical behavior, whether accountants actually complies or not, and to the extent of their compliance. Historically, ethics actually was unconsciously practiced in the field of accounting right from the stewardship era of accounting (i.e. bookkeeping data), where owners of organization expect their bookkeeper(s) or steward(s) to be truthful, objective, honest and have courtesy in both recording and reporting of information that concerns the business and stewards at that time, to a large extent greatly complied (Anibaba, 2002).