13. Is a professional accountant a businessperson pursuing profit or a fiduciary that is to act in the public interest?
I believe that a professional accountant is a fiduciary that is to act in the public interest instead of a businessperson pursuing profit. Accountants have schooled for many years and are licensed through the State. As a professional accountant there are many rules and regulations that must be understood and followed. Professional accountants are morally and ethically required to work in the best interest of the public. If an accountant is professional and ethical, he or she would not falsify financial statements or tax returns to allow for higher profits for the accountants employer, customer, or even themselves. Accountants must understand that proving to be an ethical, professional accountant with great morals will actually prove to be profitable. The accountant’s reputation plays a large role in the corporation’s reputation.
14. Why is it important for a professional accountant to understand the ethical trends discussed in this chapter?
It is important for a professional accountant to understand the ethic trends because we need to know the expectations of the public. After Enron and other banking issues caused some major changes in the new expectation in the business world. The ethics trends have slowly been changing but after what happened with set everything in place to set higher standards for the ethics. The accountant must understand the consequences of cutting corners and acting unethically. Times are changing and with the increased risk of errors causing problems for the company and its employees there is a large concern for accountants to understand the ethical trends.
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