The objective of this paper is to contribute to the accounting education literature by demonstrating that there are significant differences in judgments between Australian and Chinese subjects studying within an Australian university with respect to an important issue in accounting, namely, aggressive financial reporting practices. Aggressive financial reporting is the exercise of professional judgment by accountants (including students preparing for a career in accounting) that fails to depict ‘financial reality’. Our study provides some evidence on the influence of culture (operationalised as one's ethnic background), as well as a personal belief variable, ‘belief in a just world’, on students acceptance of aggressive financial reporting practices. The results have implications for improving accounting education. We suggest that assumptions about uniformity in perceiving Western notions of independence and objectivity embedded in official national and international accounting pronouncements are reflections of ‘culture-blindness’. Additionally, we suggest that accounting educators may like to ensure that the meanings intended in the official accounting pronouncements which are used as primary teaching material are conveyed to students within specific cultural contexts. Moreover, accounting educators and students need to pay greater attention to the role of various contextual factors in the international accounting harmonisation process.