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Lawrence Kalbers, Ph.D., CPA - Loyola Marymount University. Los Angeles, CA, US

Lawrence Kalbers, Ph.D., CPA

R. Chad Dreier Chair in Accounting Ethics | Loyola Marymount University



Professor Lawrence (Larry) Kalbers is professor of accounting and the R. Chad Dreier Chair in Accounting Ethics. He served as chair of the Department of Accounting from 2015-2019 and associate dean of faculty and academic programs for the College of Business Administration from 2018 - 2023.

Kalbers earned a B.A from Wittenberg University, an M.S. from Kent State University, and a Ph.D. from Penn State University. Before joining the LMU accounting faculty in 2005, he served as professor of accounting, the director of the School of Professional Accountancy, and the associate dean of the College of Management at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. Kalbers also taught at Wittenberg University, Penn State University, and John Carroll University.

His teaching interests include accounting and business ethics, auditing and financial reporting. Kalbers gained auditing and accounting experience working for J.K. Lasser & Co., Ernst & Ernst, Kalbers and Sturges, Inc., Ernst & Young, and as a sole practitioner. He also served as treasurer for several not-for-profit organizations. Kalbers is a CPA and a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the American Accounting Association, the Institute of Internal Auditors, the National Association of Black Accountants, and the California Society of CPAs.

Education (3)

Penn State University: Ph.D., Accounting 1989

Kent State University: M.S., Accounting 1975

Wittenberg University: B.A., Business/Accounting 1974


Areas of Expertise (8)

Accounting Ethics and the Public Interest

Financial Statement Analysis


Business Ethics

Financial Reporting


Accounting Ethics


Industry Expertise (2)



Affiliations (4)

  • American Institute of CPAs
  • The American Accounting Association
  • The Institute of Internal Auditors
  • California Society of CPAs

Media Appearances (1)

The Dilemma: Lawrence Kalbers

The Magazine of Loyola Marymount University  online


THE QUESTION “Imagine a homeowner who purchased a house several years ago that has now dropped one-third in value. His income has also fallen, so payments are difficult to meet, and he’ll soon have two children in college. He thinks walking away from his mortgage — intentionally defaulting — may make economic sense for his family. But he also feels ethically obligated to honor his commitment. What should he do?”

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Articles (20)

The Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Scandal and Accountability

The CPA Journal


The effects of corporate scandals can reverberate for years. Volkswagen, whose conspiracy to hide the emissions of its diesel engine vehicles was first uncovered in 2015, is still trying to repair its reputation. The damage will be felt for some time to come. The authors raise a question that has not been asked throughout this case: Did the company’s auditors and attorneys miss opportunities to prevent the scandal?

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The Role of Ethical Decision-Making Frameworks in Education and Practice for Professional Accountants

Journal of Business Ethics Education


In the aftermath of the accounting scandals of the early 2000s, the accounting profession experienced increased legislation and rules regulating ethical behavior of professional accountants and accounting firms. This paper considers ethics education for professional accountants (particularly Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)) and concludes that there is a need for a broader, principles-based approach to continuing professional ethics (CPE) in the United States.

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Legal Ethics Education: From Academic Foundation Through Practice

The Professional Lawyer


The goal of this paper is to develop an approach to teaching ethics that can be used in business courses such as Business Law and Legal Environment, law school courses, and particularly in continuing education courses for professionals. This paper uses the legal profession as an example of how the approach can be applied in undergraduate courses, law school courses, and Continuing Legal Education (CLE) ethics courses.

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Determinants of Auditor Changes for Non-Accelerated Filers

Research in Accounting Regulation


Significant accounting scandals and the imminent collapse of Arthur Andersen in 2001 precipitated a period of heightened regulatory response, most notably the enactment of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002.

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A Spreadsheet Life Cycle Analysis and the Impact of Sarbanes-Oxley

Decision Support Systems


Past studies show that only a small percent of organizations implement and enforce formal rules or informal guidelines for the planning, design and development, usage, modification, and disposition stages of spreadsheet models.

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The Impact of Corporate Governance and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on CEO Compensation

Journal of Applied Business Research (JABR)


This paper examines the effects of corporate governance on CEO compensation in light of regulatory controls introduced by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). The influence of economic and corporate governance variables on incentive-based CEO compensation are considered, using cross-section time-series panel data that includes multiple observations for the years 1999 to 2005.

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Beyond Regulatory Compliance for Spreadsheet Controls: A Tutorial to Assist Practitioners and a Call for Research

Communications of the Association for Information Systems


In the past decade, accounting scandals and financial reporting errors have led to heightened awareness of the need for IT controls and legislation of control regimes.

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Fraudulent Financial Reporting, Corporate Governance, and Ethics: 1987-2007

Review of Accounting and Finance


The purpose of this paper is to review, critique, and integrate certain trends, events, and research streams involving earnings management, fraudulent financial reporting, corporate governance and ethics.

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The Impact of Exercised Responsibility, Experience, Autonomy, and Role Ambiguity on Job Performance in Public Accounting

Journal of Managerial Issues


This study examines the relationship of several perceived characteristics of the work environment among auditors working for different sized public accounting firms.

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Organizational Commitment and Auditors in Public Accounting

Managerial Auditing Journal


The purpose of this paper is to examine organizational commitment within the context of important antecedents, correlates, and consequences for auditors in public accounting. Specifically, to explore the relationships among the constructs of experience, role ambiguity, organizational commitment (affective and continuance), job satisfaction, and turnover intentions.

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Internal Auditor Burnout: An Examination of Behavioral Consequences

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research


The burnout condition of employees – characterized by three interrelated symptoms of emotional exhaustion, reduced personal accomplishment and depersonalization – is a well-known phenomenon in psychology and several applied business disciplines. Following persistent recognition in the practice community, academic recognition of this topic has begun to appear in the accounting literature. Using a measure of burnout developed for boundary-spanning positions, this paper shows that burnout among internal auditors is a serious concern. Results offer evidence that the burnout condition is directly related to several of the important behavioral and attitudinal outcomes in internal accounting practice. In order to provide greater clarity for future research, this study offers a separate treatment of the three dimensions of burnout, two very different organizational commitment constructs and two turnover directions. Implications for the management of human resources in this area are included.

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Antecedents to Internal Auditor Burnout

Journal of Managerial Issues


The burnout condition of employees characterized by three interrelated symptoms of emotional exhaustion, reduced personal accomplishment, and depersonalization is a well known phenomenon in psychology and several business disciplines. Prior research in accounting has shown that burnout among internal auditors is a serious concern for both individuals and their employers. However, the antecedents of the burnout condition have not been identified. This article offers evidence that the burnout condition is directly related to one behavioral and one attitudinal construct pertaining to the individual auditor. Specifically, individuals who perceived that they possessed a better and more robust skill set were less likely to be burned-out. Second, individuals with an internal locus of control were not as likely to report burnout symptoms. In addition, this research links organizational conditions to burnout. Internal auditors that express greater trust in their companies are less likely to experience burnout. This study adds vital components to an evolving psychosocial environment of internal auditing at a time of great change.

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An Investigation of the Emerging Trend Towards a Laptop Requirement for all Accounting Majors

Accounting Education: An International Journal


This paper: (1) examines the laptop requirement trend for accounting majors and the related aspects/characteristics in a sample of US institutions accredited and not accredited by AACSB International, and (2) provides a case study of the implementation of a laptop requirement for undergraduate accounting majors in an AACSB-accredited institution and feedback based on student evaluations of the requirement over a two-year period.

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Beyond Web Trust: Reducing Your Organization’s Legal Exposure on the Web

The Internal Auditor


Although most organizations now have a Web presence, many do not fully appreciate that the business of publishing material on Web sites is fraught with often unique rules and legal risks. These substantial legal concerns are increased by the continuing lack of legal precedents for resolving the many technological issues that the Web generates and by the international aspect of publishing information on the Web. However, it is possible to develop Web sites in a manner that minimizes legal exposures, and internal auditors should become involved in such Web content-related risk areas as domain naming, Web site creation, intellectual property protection, and site security. Detailed advice is provided on a variety of legal issues related to the Web.

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An Empirical Evaluation of the Interpersonal and Organisational Correlates of Professionalism in Internal Auditing

Accounting and Business Research


This study was designed to evaluate the extent of professional attitudes in internal auditors and to identify their association with interpersonal and organisational conditions of internal auditing. For these purposes, the generic features of internal auditing jobs were used to evaluate how the internal audit function is designed, and role stressors were used to capture expectations of role senders. It was hypothesised that job characteristics would generally be negatively associated with role stress and positively related to professionalism. Furthermore, role stress was hypothesised to be negatively related to professionalism. At a practice level, the results indicate that autonomy, feedback, and task significance from the set of job characteristics, and role conflict and role ambiguity from role stress, are related to some of the dimensions of professionalism. Only the relationships between role conflict and two professionalism dimensions were not in the hypothesised direction. The strongest support for the hypothesised relationship between job characteristics and role stress was found for skill variety, autonomy, and feedback. All were significantly related to all dimensions of role stress. However, skill variety was positively related to each dimension of stress. The results indicate that a complex set of work design factors have selective importance for creating and maintaining professional attitudes and behaviours of internal auditors.

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Organizational and Economic Explanations of Audit Committee Oversight

Journal of Managerial Issues


Two contrasting theories offer widely different explanations for the emergence of audit committees. Agency theory suggests that control mechanisms are economically rational responses to demands for monitoring, resulting primarily from the inability of stockholders and debtholders to observe the actions of management. Institutional theory suggests that control structures are symbolic displays of conformity to social expectations that have only a remote connection to the actual effectiveness of controls. Empirical tests were performed for a sample of 79 United States corporations to investigate the applicability of these two theories. Results indicate that audit committee activities and effectiveness are not explained by agency theory variables. Results are consistent with the premise of institutional theory that organizations' publicly observable structures and activities are only loosely connected to their inner workings. The potential for using both agency theory and institutional theory for increasing our understanding of the role of the audit committee as a monitoring mechanism is considered.

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Expanding the Dialogue: Industrial Revolution Costing Historiography

Critical Perspective on Accounting


This paper is a call for a greater spirit of collaboration amongst accounting historians researching the origins of managerial accounting and its development during the early stages of US and UK industrialization. Philosophical and historical dialogue literature supports the proposition that this communication can additively and synergistically advance our knowledge of these formative times. The historiographic positions and critiques of the three major contending paradigmatic schools (Neoclassical, Foucauldian, and Marxis/labor process) are considered. Significant beginnings leading to the prospect for greater dialogue, harmony and collaborative effort are detailed. Power, as one example of a common ground of interest for theorists representing all perspectives, is examined within the context of early industrialization.

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Professionalism and Its Consequences: A Study of Internal Auditors

Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory


Internal auditors have been encouraged by the Institute of Internal Auditors and the practitioner literature to adopt professional attitudes to facilitate the accomplishment of personal and organizational objectives. Results of a recent study indicate that professionalism for internal auditors approximates the 5 dimensions of professionalism. However, demands for autonomy proved somewhat problematic for internal auditors. Each of the 5 professionalism dimensions are associated with one or more outcomes such as job performance, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intentions. The results suggest that professionalism is not a panacea, in that its effects are neither universal or indifferent to the nature of concomitants.

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Professionalism and Internal Auditors: A Profile

Mid-American Journal of Business


The concept of professionalism of internal auditors is examined. A survey of a large sample of internal auditors revealed that internal auditors generally conform to a model of professionalism previously applied to other occupations. Especially notable, internal auditors strongly believe in the importance of internal auditing. The relationship between the dimensions of professionalism and levels of education, certification, and rank are also explored. Implications for professionalism in internal auditing are discussed.

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Audit Committee Effectiveness: An Empirical Investigation of the Contribution of Power

Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory


Many official organizations and bodies have proposed an important role for audit committees in the improvement of financial reporting and control. Accordingly, audit committees have been established widely throughout the private sector. Despite this increased emphasis on the oversight responsibilities of audit committees, little empirical research has been conducted to investigate the effectiveness of audit committees and the factors associated with effectiveness. This study proposes that audit committee effectiveness is perceived as a function of the types and extent of audit committee power. A theoretical understanding of power is used to develop measures of power as it relates to audit committees and to explore audit committee effectiveness.

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