Can Ethics Be Taught?

1617 Words May 19th, 2008 7 Pages
What are ethics?

Ethics are the set beliefs and values of an individual which they apply to circumstances relating to morality. To act in an ‘ethical’ manner, an individual must display integrity by doing what they believe to be right.

When working within any professional body, an individual will be subjected to circumstances in which personal ethics will come into play. The Accounting profession is no different as ethical questions arise as part of any working day and can effect how an individual or the company conducts business. These questions can vary greatly in practice from selection of new customers to the rates at which those clients are going to be charged. These ethical questions are raised regularly within the workplace and
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This suggests that the teaching of accounting morality could link in with the morality of the individual to create a better understanding of ethics within the field of accounts. This course gives the accountants involved a clear view of what is acceptable practice for an ethical company and removes any doubts or misconceptions that they may have which could ultimately lead to a scandal.

With the business world growing exponentially, the values within this cut-throat sector will be very different to those of the profession 50 years ago. Nowadays, employees are taught to be ruthless in order to make themselves or the company number one. This gives the employees a cover to hide behind when it comes to ethics. Personal ethics and beliefs may be intentionally removed by individuals when entering the workplace as they believe that these may hold them back. Therefore by teaching the fact that the accounting profession needs people to rely on their own personal ethics as well as a general set of ethical guidelines, they can greatly reduce the amount of accounting scandals and raise the profile of the profession.

Courses on ethics can therefore be seen to raise awareness of ethical issues or to provide certain guidelines to those who are unsure. However, individuals with a strong set of principles would not find these courses…