Professional Ethics in Accounting as Assessed by Managers of Economic Units
Purpose: The article aims to determine the degree of use of ethical patterns contained in the Code of Professional Ethics in Accounting by the management of selected economic units representing the following two provinces in Poland: the pomorskie province and the kujawsko-pomorskie province in 2015, 2017 and 2019, as well as to show the factors influencing unethical behaviour. Design/Methodology/Approach: The study analyses the results of the surveys conducted in November and December 2015 in the period from March to May 2017 and in the period from October to December 2019 among 220 heads of economic units operating in two Polish provinces, i.e., the pomorskie and the kujawsko-pomorskie provinces. Findings: The practical application of ethical standards in accounting raises doubts in the opinions expressed by managers of units. Therefore, the role of professional ethics should be strengthened by undertaking various activities to promote, educate, or by taking directly measures to protect and confirm compliance with ethical standards by units. However, the introduction of such solutions requires changes in legal regulations as well as in the way of thinking in all economic entities operating on the market. Practical Implications: Differentiating the ethical certification period from two up to four years depending on the economic and financial situation of the enterprise seems to be justified. Changes and limitations in running a business in selected industries and branches of production dictated by the COVID 19 pandemic may contribute to the use of creative accounting, problems with continuing operations in an unchanged scope and maintaining financial liquidity. Originality/value: The legitimacy and potential organization of ethical certification was verified on a group of people actually working in managerial accounting positions. As part of the survey, managers of economic units were asked how they assess the application of ethical standards in accounting and what the main premises for violating the rules are.