Dr. Zabihollah Rezaee Focuses on Puerto Rico in Published Paper for Journal of Business Ethics

MEMPHIS, TN—July 15, 2019. Dr. Zabihollah Rezaee, Thompson-Hill Chair of Excellence and professor of Accountancy in the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis has recently published a paper titled “Regulatory Enforcement of Accounting Ethics in Puerto Rico”. This paper is authored jointly by professors Roger Cardona, Wanda Rivera-Ortiz and Jose Vega-Vilca from the University of Puerto Rico. The paper is published in Journal of Business Ethics.

Ethical violations committed by Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in Puerto Rico (PR) in the 2002–2010 period and the related disciplinary actions taken by the local regulatory bodies is the main subject matter for this paper. The institutional settings for the accounting profession in PR are different from those of the United States. Ethical complaints are investigated by the PR Society of CPAs and evaluated based on the Code of Professional Conduct of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), although most CPAs in PR are not affiliated with the AICPA. The study is based on data provided by the PR Society of CPAs that is not publicly available.

Close examination was performed of the association between the occurrence of the ethical violations and certain variables such as gender, type of practice performed by the CPA, and whether the CPA participates in a peer review program. Results of a multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) suggest that not being a member of the AICPA, practicing as a sole practitioner, and not participating in a peer review program seem to be more associated with the occurrences of ethical violations by CPAs.

Findings from the research are compared with prior research on ethical infractions committed by CPAs in the United States and some differences attributable to the institutional settings in PR were discovered. Overall, the results suggest the importance of codes of conduct in the accounting profession and compliance with such ethical guidelines by practicing accountants.

The published paper may be accessed using the following link.



Rezaee, Z., Cardona, R., Rivera-Oritz, W., and Vega-Vilca, J., “Regulatory Enforcement of Accounting Ethics in Puerto Rico”, Journal of Business Ethics, March 2019.