Searching for a Pathway to Priming Accountants for Ethical Compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards: The Core Value Paradigm

Francis Odianonsen Iyoha


The accounting profession has over the years prescribed solutions (via code of professional ethics) to often complex ethical problems. This has left the profession in a state of continued crises of confidence as evidenced by the celebrated fraud cases across jurisdictions. The problem is likely to be more pronounced following the introduction of the principles-based International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). To be effective, ethical reform initiatives should directly address the inner life and character of  accountants through education of the right type. The objective of this paper, therefore, is to bring into focus the relevance of Covenant University Core Values in priming accountants for ethical compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards. According to the empirical results of the study(based a cross-sectional sample of stakeholders from the Lagos area of Nigeria) the CU core values paradigm is relevant and effective in priming ethical behaviour. The paradigm offers the right approach as the acquisition of understanding of ethical issues turns away from a focus on the external world of rules to the more holistic approach of internalizing a set of values which ensures that accountants maintain consistent ethical behaviour. Thus, the paper recommends the Covenant University Core Value dimension to learning and teaching as a pedagogical starting point in building ethical behaviour in accountants for compliance with IFRS.  However, there are a number of limitations of the study which include small sample size. Further studies that would consider the limitations are recommended.

Keywords: Core values, Accounting education, Ethical sensitivity, Priming, International Financial Reporting Standards(IFRS)

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