Professional ethics: a map or a compass?

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We invite you to a challenging panel discussion with cross-disciplinary thinkers on the evolving role of education in professional ethics.

Serving the public’s interest and earning its trust is at the heart of what defines the profession and we believe professional ethics plays a crucial role in this. The recent crises of confidence, along with growing social demand and the aspirations of new generations, are key factors that have contributed to a proliferation in the number of ethics courses, codes and standards. The big question is whether this is working or not. Are we really building a more ethical society and a future driven by morality?

Should we continue building a detailed ‘ethics map’ by perfecting courses and ethical codes or should we design systemic approaches that foster a ‘moral compass’ among professionals? We propose that a holistic approach to ethics education can help students and young professionals to create better paths for future progress.

This is an opportunity for the accounting academia to engage in one area that we believe is at heart of the profession. How do we empower professionals by instilling them with high moral values, critical thinking and personal responsibility? What is the role of accounting education in shaping the future of the profession?

We want to open the debate to a wide range of questions. From broader philosophical questions about whether you can make someone more ethical by teaching them ethics, to technical questions on assessing the effectiveness of ethics courses, to holistic questions about designing ethical systems of which education can be a part.

We hope that we can develop new thinking and ideas on the opportunities that can promote the accounting academia as a driving force for enlightenment in the 21st century profession.


WalterPavloWalt Pavlo is an adjunct professor at Endicott College’s Van Loan School and a contributor to Forbes where he writes on white-collar crime. He is the co-author of Stolen Without A Gun, which he co-wrote with Neil Weinberg (Reporter at Bloomberg). Mr. Pavlo is a nationally recognized speaker who has been a part of training programs at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, major corporations and top ranked MBA programs across the country.


RonaldSimsRonald R. Sims is the Floyd Dewey Gottwald Senior Professor in the Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary where he teaches, consults and does research in the areas of business ethics, leadership and change management and human resource management to students at all levels.
Professor Sims is the author or co-author of thirty-four books, sixty-five chapters and more than eighty articles that have appeared in a wide variety of scholarly and practitioner journals.

PatrickKellyPatrick Kelly is an Associate Professor of Accountancy at Providence College and has served as Department Chair for the past eight years. He is also the Chair Elect of the Public Interest Section of the American Accounting Association. He received his Ph.D. in Accounting from the University of Connecticut. His research interests include accounting ethics, education, and public interest issues.

Dr. Kelly is a retired Coast Guard Commander who served on the faculty at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for ten years, teaching accounting, finance, and leadership courses. He also directed the Cadet Leadership and Character Development Program for six years.

RichardSpencerRichard Spencer is Head of Sustainability at ICAEW. He joined ICAEW in 2005 in order to set up the sustainability practice within the Technical Strategy department. During this time Richard has led on the ICAEW’s thought leadership and engagement programme in sustainability. He is a co-convenor of the Finance Innovation Lab that was named as one of the Top 50 of Britain’s New Radicals. He has also led on setting up the Natural Capital Coalition.

MartinMartinoffMartin Martinoff is leading AuditFutures – ICAEW’s thought-leadership program on the future of the auditing and accountancy profession and its role in 21st century society. He received a Public Policy degree from the University of Chicago and has an eclectic inter-disciplinary experience in entrepreneurship, innovation and design.