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Behavioural Framework for Managing Conflicts of Interest in Professional Accounting Firms

Ishaque, M and Attah-Boakye, R and Yusuf, F (2021) 'Behavioural Framework for Managing Conflicts of Interest in Professional Accounting Firms.' British Journal of Management. ISSN 1045-3172

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Abstract

This paper proposes a behavioural framework to complement professional accounting firms’ measures for managing conflicts of interest. Following an empirical examination of the process through which conflicts of interest affect accounting professionals’ decision-making, we develop guidance for practitioners that will enable them to incorporate behavioural interventions while establishing the context, assessing, treating, controlling and monitoring conflicts of interest. The interventions are aimed at strengthening accounting professionals’ independence in fact by increasing the professionals’ expectation that compliant decision-making will result in positive outcomes, increasing their perception that making compliant decisions is less difficult than making the alternative decisions, facilitating the formation of highly ethical judgements and lowering their propensity to disengage. The data were collected through a quasi-experiment with 105 professionals from the Big Four accounting firms in the UK. Our work offers practical implications for professional accountants, executive directors, regulatory bodies, executive training and academic research. Other professions facing the ramifications of conflicts of interest (e.g. law, engineering, medicine and architecture) may also use the proposed framework to improve their ethics policies and corporate governance codes for managing conflicts of interest.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2021 16:18
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2021 02:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30039

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