Two. Ethical Behavior in Accounting: What is Ethics?

  1. Ronald Duska1,
  2. Brenda Shay Duska2 and
  3. Julie Ragatz1

Published Online: 20 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444395907.ch2

Accounting Ethics, Second Edition

Accounting Ethics, Second Edition

How to Cite

Duska, R., Duska, B. S. and Ragatz, J. (2011) Ethical Behavior in Accounting: What is Ethics?, in Accounting Ethics, Second Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444395907.ch2

Author Information

  1. 1

    The Center for Ethics in Financial Services, The American College, USA

  2. 2

    Del Pizzo & Associates, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 11 MAR 2011

Book Series:

  1. Foundations of Business Ethics

Book Series Editors:

  1. W. Michael Hoffman and
  2. Robert E. Frederick

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405196130

Online ISBN: 9781444395907



  • ethical behavior in accounting - and its ethics;
  • scrutiny of auditing practices by SEC - after a series of high-profile corporate accounting frauds, which auditors missed at companies;
  • PCAOB report, and deficiencies - tied to what it said, failures by BDO to perform audit procedures;
  • questionable or “unethical” behavior - by accountants;
  • ethics, applying to business in general and to accounting in particular;
  • nature and dimensions of ethics and morality - application to accounting practices and the accounting profession;
  • ethics, in all its forms - concerning the right or wrong, good or bad;
  • ethics, and Intellectual Enterprise - ethical belief, with two elements, a subject and a predicate;
  • ways, in justifying an action - examining reasons for and against it;
  • questions of common morality - whether it benefits you, beneficial to society, is just, and fulfills a commitment, and thus to do it


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • What Is Ethics?

  • Ethics: The Intellectual Enterprise

  • Actions

  • Social Practices, Institutions, and Systems

  • Why Study Ethics?

  • Being Ethical: How to Determine What to Do

  • Questions to Ask to Justify An Action: The Basis of Ethical Theory

  • Using the Reasons

  • Ethical Dilemmas

  • Some Classic Moral Dilemmas