Leading an Early-Curriculum Discussion on Professional Integrity


  • Kate Jelinek University of Rhode Island
  • Ronald Jelinek Providence College


Going back almost twenty years in response to ethical lapses in the profession, accounting leaders have urged educators to specifically focus on the AICPA’s Principle of Integrity. Despite this, a review of leading textbooks in financial, managerial and intermediate accounting and even auditing reveal that coverage of professional integrity is surprisingly limited, leaving instructors poorly positioned to teach this critical principle. Accordingly, this paper offers instructors an easy-to-implement, early-curriculum discussion of the AICPA Code of Conduct’s Principle of Integrity. Results from our study reveal that undergraduate students who participated in the discussion showed a greater commitment to important elements of integrity relative to a control group. Further, we found that participating students also demonstrated a greater sensitivity to unprofessional, deviant workplace behavior. An affront to the AICPA Code and its Principle of Integrity, workplace deviance has been a detriment to the profession for several decades. Consequently, our study suggests that exposing students to the AICPA’s Principle of Integrity can both potentially bolster appreciation for the good and buttress against the compulsion to do bad.

Author Biography

  • Kate Jelinek, University of Rhode Island
    Accounting area at the University of Rhode Island; associate professor of accounting




How to Cite

Leading an Early-Curriculum Discussion on Professional Integrity. (2023). The Accounting Educators’ Journal, 33. https://www.aejournal.com/ojs/index.php/aej/article/view/892