Call of duty: A framework for auditor’s ethical decisions

April 2014 | Shaub, Michael K.

This chapter examines the concept of duty as it applies to audit professionalism. Providing professional literature, examples from practice, and research as support, we assert that duty as an ethical perspective is often subordinated to consequentialist calculations in audit practice. Focus on public interest, a defining attribute of professionalism, tends to fall casualty to self-interested considerations when auditors ignore duty. We explore the concept of professionalism and the roles of duty and virtue in auditing, contrasting them with consequentialism. Then, we examine three obligations of the audit professional—requiring truth-telling, dissenting and confronting, and honestly self-assessing independence and professionalism. Through increased awareness of and attention to duty, auditors may be more able to fulfill their obligations in each of these areas. Making more balanced ethical decisions that are informed by duty could help auditors to maintain professionalism.



  • R. Braun


Accounting for the Public Interest: An International Perspective on Accounting to Society, S. Mintz, ed. Advances in Business Ethics Research: A Journal of Business Ethics Book Series

Web Link