Corporate failures have sparked significant pressure on management, auditors, directors, the accounting profession and governments’ oversight role to review the issue of business ethics and independence. Appropriate corporate governance models and issues of directors’ personal liability for financial statements are being examined to promote business ethics. The accounting profession, and in particular the auditing profession, has been moving world-wide from a rules based system of oversight towards a self-regulatory system. This trend has been halted with the United States, which has engaged more seriously with the rules based model of oversight, passing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in August 2002. Australia, with its Bill of Corporate Law Economic Reform Program, CLERP 9, is also strengthening its corporate governance rules. This paper examines the issues of business ethics and audit independence in the light of recent changes to corporate governance requirements in Australia and overseas and makes comment on the teaching of business ethics in tertiary institutions.