March 11, 2014
Accountants have responsibilities to many different groups such as their clients, the government and third parties. It is important that accountants act in a particular manner and have high ethical standards, integrity and professionalism. Accountant’s job responsibility is to validate financial statements and perform the duties in accordance with all the principles, standards and laws. Even though an accountant is hired by a company, they have a responsibility to many more people than just the company. Some of the people that accountants are responsible to, would be the company's management, investors, creditors, outside regulatory bodies, and the integrity of the financial markets. Accountants need to be consistent and constantly be carefully exercising due diligence and pay close consideration of the materiality of content (Accountant Responsibility). Accountants have a code of professional conduct that they should adhere to. This states that accountants should maintain objectivity and be free of conflicts of interest in the discharging professional responsibilities. An accountant in public practice should be independent in fact and appearance when providing audit and other attestation services. Situations where accountants will need to show objectivity would be when they are felt compelled to deliver bad news to a client or employer based on an analysis that they had performed (Colson, 2004). There are two different types of auditors; internal auditors and external auditors which have different responsibilities. Internal auditors have the main responsibility to develop statements that present the financial situation of a company in a fair way, meaning that as much disclosure as necessary to give a reasonable picture of the financial situation to any user having a claim to the knowledge. External auditor’s responsibility is to affirm that this has happened by issuing an opinion as to whether the financial statement fairly presents the financial position of that corporation (Duska, 2005). Accountant Responsibility to Clients
Accountants have a professional responsibility to clients to keep their information confidential. The rule states that a member in the public practice shall not disclose any confidential client information without the specific consent of the client. This also extends to other accountants not directly involved with the client who obtain information through practice reviews or sanctioned disciplinary hearings to maintain confidentially. There are certain exceptions that facilitate compliance with other professional and legal obligations. Maintaining confidentiality is not only a professional obligation but also a legal obligation. General knowledge and expertise obtained through a client engagement is not considered to be confidential information (Cashell). Accountants have ethical responsibility to protect their clients, produce financial statements and tax returns that are to the best of their ability after performing proper due diligence. If there was an event that an audit would occur for a government agency they should represent their clients with professionalism. Accountants should always maintain the highest ethical standards. Accountants perform essential and critical roles in society. Accountants have responsibilities to all of those who use their professional services. The American Institution of CPA's has an official rule, Rule 301 states a member in the public practice shall not disclose any confidential information without the specific consent of the client. Accountant’s number one responsibility is to its clients, it is important that accountants do not disclose client information to anyone without the client’s permission first. There are consequences to the accountant if they do not keep client information confidential. It can also have a...
References: Accountant Responsibility. (2014). Investopedia. Retrieved from: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/accountant-responsibility.asp
Cashell, J. D., & Fuerman, R. D. (1995). The CPA 's responsibility for Client Information. CPA Journal, 65(9),54.
Colson, R. H. (2004). CPAS ' Responsibilities: Article IV Objectivity and Independence. CPA Journal, 74(6), 80
Duska, R. F. (2005). The Responsibilities of Accountants. Geneva Papers On Risks & Insurance - Issues & Practices, 30(3), 410-424. doi:10.1057/palgrave.gpp.2510042
ET Section 301 -Client Confidential Information. (2014). AICPA. Retrieved from: http://www.aicpa.org/Research/Standards/CodeofConduct/Pages/et_300.aspx#et_301
Greene, F. D., Petrocine, A. R., & Fitzpatrick, R. C. (2003). Holding Accountants Accountable: The Liability of Accountants to Third Parties. Employee Responsibilities & Rights Journal, 15(1). 23-29.
Professional Liability of Accountants & Auditors. ACCA. Retrieved from: http://www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/acca/global/PDF-membe rs/2012/2012p/Prof_liability.pdf
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