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The main contribution of this study is to better understand the importance of ethical behavior according to gender and age in Portuguese accountants’ profession. These results can be used by the accountants’ order in the conditions to access the profession and by the Higher Education Institutions with degrees leading to the profession to adjust their learning outcomes.

Ethics is an important ability in any profession but, considering the spectrum of responsibilities of the certified accountants, ethics should be even more important. The research concerning ethical issues related to accountants’ profession has increased in the last years. Those studies highlight mostly the nature and extent of ethical problems in the profession.

This study aims to validate the different importance given to ethical behavior in accountants’ profession in Portugal, for men and women, and to understand how they also feel differently when in self-evaluation. The study allows comparing different generations in the profession. Hence, the research questions this study aims to respond are: (1) Who considers ethic ability more important to the accountants’ profession, men or women? (2) Is there a different sense of ethical behavior when in self-evaluation in both genders? (3) Does the accountants' age influence their sense of ethics?

The methodological approach is a prior literature review about ethical issues in accountants’ profession, followed by an empirical study based on a questionnaire fulfilled by 628 accountants.

Results show a different level of given importance and even self-evaluation to ethical behavior depending on gender, but not on age.


Accounting Profession age Certified Accountants Ethics Gender Portugal

Article Details


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