Research shows that cheating in colleges and universities across the world is on the rise. If this culture of dishonesty is carried into the work place, this will be especially problematic for the accounting profession. It will endanger the economic success of businesses and result in potential legal consequences. The very credibility of the profession could be at stake. The definition of cheating needs to be uniformly clarified. A discrepancy exists between what students and faculty perceive as cheating. Professors must clearly define what they consider cheating in their syllabi and lectures, as well as set forth the policies and penalties that will be enforced against cheating. Even as technology has given rise to new ways to cheat, faculty must also use technology to combat cheating in traditional and online courses. To deter cheating, professors must rigorously enforce the existing university standards. The complexity of reporting and difficulty of proving cheating has led to the failure of some faculty members to penalize cheaters. Instilling fear that there is a high chance of being caught is the key to begin solving this problem. Business programs need to increase their emphasis on ethics education. Students have shown interest in realistic ethical instruction, which gives rise to an opportunity for improvement. This paper will address the issues discussed above, with the implication that past behavior predicts future actions – from the classroom to the work environment.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2012


Mary Beth Holbrook

Mentor Department Affiliation

Accounting, Finance, and Information Systems

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level




Department Name when Degree Awarded

Accounting, Finance, and Information Systems