Ethical Essay: the Accountant’s Role in Financial Management

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Athens State University Ethical Essay: The Accountant’s Role in Financial Management AC312 (21388) – Law for Accountants Clients expect accountants to listen to their financial concerns and provide a solution that suits their needs. The accountant must fulfill those needs within the rules of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). The services clients expect of their accountants may differ from what they are required to do by law. Some clients may believe the accountant’s sole responsibility is to maximize their profits or act as their personal financial representative. The reality is that accountants have a legal and ethical duty to follow the rules and regulations as outlined by GAAP. They “have the responsibility to maintain objectivity in rendering professional services … and must be scrupulous in their application of generally accepted accounting principles” (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 2013). Although these rules may cause some disagreement, an accountant must adhere to GAAP regardless of what the client desires. Accounting is a profession which demands strong moral character from those who wish to practice. An efficient, effective, and successful accountant must be prepared to adhere to a steadfast code of ethics. At some point in their career, most accountants will encounter challenges that will test their resolve. There will inevitably be pressure from clients and others to manipulate financial statements or to reveal confidential information they feel may give them an economic advantage. Therefore it is important that accountants learn to practice with impeccable ethics and maintain a level of professionalism that is beyond reproach. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Code of Professional

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