The ethics of rights or the separative model has dominated Western thought since the Enlightenment and the ethics of care was developed as a feminist critique seeking to rebalance our basic thought structure. The ethics of care is used as a framework for analysis and as a visionary ideal to evaluate proposed changes in accounting practice. Reports on changes in conceptualizing accounting practice proposed by the AICPA’s special committees on assurance and financial reporting. The proposals challenge traditional views of accounting practice, based on rights thinking, and adopt concepts from new management theories compatible with the ethics of care. Contends that it is not clear to what extent these proposals, and other current proposals to address the problem of auditor independence, represent a real paradigm shift. The proposed changes are driven by an economic imperative to expand the scope of services of the profession and may result in a significant threat to the accounting profession’s claims to professional status.
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