In order to become successful accountants, accounting students must learn a wide array of skills, mathematical concepts, and software. In the midst of imparting all of this technical knowledge, it’s common for instructors and schools to overlook an important part of the field of accounting: ethics. Teaching students ethics in accounting is far less common than it should be. Once you step back and consider its importance, you’ll likely be inspired to spend some time focusing on ethics with your students.
Unethical accounting practices don’t just cost companies a few dollars. Although accountants often assume they are doing little harm by engaging in unethical practices from time to time, the truth is, poor accounting can bring down entire companies. Many businesses have crumbled to the ground following an accounting scandal that started as a simple breach of ethics and quickly grew into something larger.
By showing students examples of instances in which a lack of ethical accounting practices brought down big companies, you are demonstrating to them just how much power they will actually hold in their future positions. You’ll also show them that what starts off as a small breach of ethics can have profound effects that they never predicted; it’s better to adhere to ethical practices from the very beginning.