Preface Why Did We Write This Book?

Preface Why Did We Write This Book?

The first edition of Ethical Obligations and Decision Making in Accounting: Text and Cases was written in the wake of the bubble and accounting scandals at companies such as Enron and WorldCom. The second edition was written in the wake of the financial meltdown of 2007–2008 that was due to high-risk lending and borrowing practices. The result of these scandals has been an increased call by professional and regulatory bodies for ethics education of accounting students in values, ethics, and attitudes to support pro- fessional and ethical judgments and act in the public interest. We dedicate ourselves to this goal through our book.

Several states now require their accounting students to complete an ethics course prior to certification. Texas was first state to do so, and it requires accounting students in Texas and those moving into the state to complete an ethics course at a Texas uni- versity or in their home institution. California and Colorado require separate account- ing ethics courses; states such as Maryland, New York, and West Virginia also have separate ethics course requirements. This book is written to enable instructors to address the content material that state boards typically expect to be covered in qualify- ing courses.

Ethical Obligations and Decision Making in Accounting was written to guide students through the minefields of ethical conflict in meeting their responsibilities under the pro- fessions’ codes of conduct. Our book is devoted to helping students cultivate the ethical commitment needed to ensure that their work meets the highest standards of integrity, independence, and objectivity. We hope that this book and classroom instruction will work together to provide the tools to help you make ethical judgments and carry through with ethical actions.

Our book blends ethical reasoning, components of behavioral ethics, reflection, and the principles of ethical conduct that embody the values of the accounting profession. We incorporate these elements into a framework to consider the ethical obligations of accountants and auditors and how to make ethical decisions that address the following material:

• The role of moral and cognitive development in ethical reasoning, ethical judgment, and ethical orientation

• Professional codes of conduct in accounting • Ethical corporate governance systems • Fraud detection and prevention • Legal and regulatory obligations of auditors • Whistleblowing obligations of accountants and auditors • Earnings management issues and the quality of financial reporting • Ethical systems, global ethics standards, and corporate governance considerations in

doing business worldwide

Attributes of This Textbook Ethical Obligations and Decision Making in Accounting is designed to provide the instructor with comprehensive coverage of ethical and professional issues encountered by accounting professionals. Our material provides the best flexibility and pedagogical

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effectiveness of any book on the market. To that end, it includes numerous features designed to make both learning and teaching easier, such as:

• Ethical reflections that set the tone for each chapter • 160 discussion questions • 76 cases (10 per Chapters 1–7 and 6 in Chapter 8), about one-third of which are from the

SEC enforcement files • 6 additional major cases that can be used for comprehensive testing, a group project, a

research assignment, or a capstone to the book • Dozens of additional cases and instructional resources, which are available to enrich

student learning • Links to videos for instructors

Pedagogical approach:

• The book is comprehensive enough to serve as a stand-alone text, yet flexible enough to act as a co-text or supplementary text across the accounting curricula or within an auditing or financial accounting course.

• There is sufficient case and supplementary material to allow the instructor to vary the course over at least two to three terms.

• The writing style is pitched specifically to students, making the material easy to follow and absorb.

• Group discussions and role-play opportunities using case studies • Video links to bring case material to life

The Instructor Edition of the Online Learning Center,, offers materials to support the efforts of first-time and seasoned instructors of accounting ethics. A comprehensive Instructor’s Manual provides teaching notes, grading sugges- tions and rubrics, sample syllabi, extra cases and projects, and guidelines for incorporating writing into the accounting ethics course; a Test Bank that provides a variety of multiple- choice, short answer, and essay questions for building quizzes and tests; additional cases that can be assigned, including some that were not carried over from the first and second editions; links to videos to enhance the learning experience and bring case discussions to life; and PowerPoint presentations for every chapter make a convenient and powerful lecture tool.

Changes in This Edition The behavioral approach to ethics leads to understanding and explaining moral behavior in a systematic way. We have expanded our discussion of ethics beyond the traditional philosophical moral reasoning methods that teach students how they should behave when facing ethical dilemmas and now also engage them to understand their own behavior better and compare it to how they would ideally like to behave. We incorporate those discussions in addressing ethical obligations of accountants and auditors under professional codes of conduct and in areas such as whistleblowing considerations under Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act.

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