In the past there have been several cases in the business environment related to the practices of accountants and auditors who have violated the trust and confidence of the public. A number of studies have been conducted in order to identify the potential factors resulting in unethical, biased or inappropriate decision making and judgments by the professionals. The aim of this paper is to review two relevant academic articles and evaluate the reliability of the claims and assertions made by the authors. The paper follows a critique style in order to gain some knowledge of the topic and enhance skills for a critical assessment of the information provided in research papers and published journals ( Behren & Losen, 2005).
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According to the authors “the presence of a code of ethics appears to have a significant influence on the quality audit judgments of professional accountants’’ (Pfflugrath, Martinov-Bennie & Chen, 2007). In terms of aggressive client preferences, the code of ethics may help in better judgment by the professional auditors and accountants. In contrast Shafer, Morrid & Ketchand (2001) suggest that in case of clients’ pressure on aggressive financial reporting, “auditors’ ethical behavior is influenced by economic or utilitarian considerations”. Shafer et.al., (2001) suggest that strong organizational norms should result in the standardization of behaviors. In this regard, the results of Pflugrath et. al. (2007) may be judged as fairly consistent: organizational codes of ethics may help in ethical decision making of employees and professionals in auditing and accounting fields. Unitary codes of ethics may help in standardization for the accounting and auditing professionals and may result in similar findings for the similar scenarios or situations that prevail in different companies or businesses.
Pflugrath et al (2007) suggest that code of ethics (rules and guidelines designed to outline acceptable behaviors in an organisation) has a significantly positive impact on the quality of judgment made by professional auditors