WSU accounting professor to be published in prestigious journal

Wayne State University accounting professor Albert Spalding had an article accepted for publication in the Journal of Business Ethics.The article is co-authored by Gretchen Lawrie, a former member the WSU accounting faculty. The title of the article is "A Critical Examination of the AICPA's New 'Conceptual Framework' Ethics Protocol."

The article's abstract can be found below.


The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has begun to place a greater emphasis on the promotion of ethical principles and the associated best practices that are identified with those principles by adding a "conceptual framework" to its existing code of professional conduct. This conceptual framework calls upon its members to be aware of significant threats to their compliance with its rules of conduct and to establish safeguards to offset or eliminate those threats. This new provision in the AICPA’s ethics code provides an opportunity and a context for the comparison of rules-based and virtues-based professional ethics and the manner in which these two approaches interact and are enforceable. We consider the relevance of the AICPA's stated categories of threats– and its recommended safeguards to reduce or eliminate significant threats – by looking at the background facts of select legal cases involving apparent ethical lapses. We ask whether the AICPA's peer review system that currently monitors the technical competence of its members – with some consideration of ethical practices – can or should be expanded to include a more intentional review of members' adoption of and adaptation to the threats and safeguards regime. We also question the AICPA's bylaws retention of a requirement that members can only be sanctioned or disciplined for violating of one or more of its rules of conduct (irrespective of the members’ compliance or noncompliance with the requirements of the new conceptual framework).

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