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Accounting Assignment: Reflection on Notion of Accountability & Ethics


Task: This accounting assignment requires you to consider your future role as an accountant, the notion of accountability, and your values. Prepare a response to each of the following:

1) In your own words, prepare a definition for ‘accounting’ that incorporates the concept of ‘accountability’.

2) Reflect back on your own employment experience (and/or business dealings that you have had as either a customer or as a business owner). Explain an ethical dilemma that you have faced personally (either as an employee, a customer or as a business owner). In your response, briefly discuss:

i. What were the relevant facts of the dilemma / scenario?
ii. What were the alternative courses of action that you considered and weighedup, when you were deciding what to do?
iii. What values were important to you, when you were deciding what to do? Discuss. iv. As you reflect back on the situation, is there anything that you would do differently if you were faced with a similar dilemma again now? Discuss.

3) You are currently applying for a job (as an accountant) at a large business. As part of the application process, you have been asked to provide a personal values statement. Prepare a concise personal values statement (1-3 sentences in length) that reflects your view of the notion of accountability.


Answer to Question 1
It is stated herein accounting assignment that the notion of responsibility is a vital component in the relationship between accountability an accounting. The definition of accounting encompasses the process of collecting, summarizing, analyzing and communicating financial information(Corporate Finance Institute, 2019). The main purpose of accounting is based on informed decision-making regarding an organization’s performance by the stakeholders. Accountability makes the aspect of accounting richer and interesting as it generates highly useful information about an organization’s financial performance. In accounting, accountability ensures that an accountant is knowledgeable and careful in their professional practices because even the slightest of negligence can make an accountant legally responsible for the consequences. In any organization, an accountant is accountable for the accuracy and integrity of the financial information even if the errors are not committed by them. In other words, accountability is essential in the field of accounting as it is difficult to get people to admit their mistakes.

In the context of accounting, accountability ensures that financial reports have maintained integrity and transparency. During the late 90s and early aughts, several high profile corporate accounting frauds or scandals took the business world by storm and this has resulted in the imposing of tougher regulations so that the financial statements are prepared and presented in an ethical way(Juris, 2012). There are several business organizations around the world that establish an audit committee to oversee the audit profession. Overall, accounting is the job of carrying out financial calculations and entries in an ethical way that represents its accountability as well. Accountability in financial accounting is implemented in different ways by modern-day business organizations and in the majority of the organizations; a company's financial statements are reviewed by an auditor who is accountable for obtaining reasonable assurance stating that the financial statements are not misleading or involve any fraudulent activities. Therefore, accounting incorporates the concept of accountability based on authenticity and assurance.

Answer to Question 2
i. Workplace dilemmas have become a common aspect in today’s corporate structure and employees often tend to sell the worst of products or services to the customers for making an individual profit. I have faced an ethical dilemma as an employee when had to achieve my sales target by selling a badly reviewed product to an old man. The dilemma that I faced was based on deciding whether to sell the bad product to the old man or stick to my moral ethics of not getting indulged in harming someone.

ii. While deciding about what needs to be done, I was considering an alternative option of quitting the job. Since my job was at stake if I fail to sell a bad reviewed product to an old man in order to achieve my target and I was hesitating to sell it to the old man, so I thought quitting will be the best option.

iii. While I was deciding about what needs to be done in this kind of dilemma there were certain values that I considered close to my heart. Firstly, moral values are something that I consider in every aspect of my life as by following moral values I can help someone instead of causing harm. In addition to that, I also do not like to make bad decisions based on fear. While deciding whether to sell or not sell to the old man given the worst quality of the product, the moral and ethical values came into my mind as a first priority.

iv. If I face a similar situation like this again now, I would rather educate the old man regarding the judgment of product quality and also communicate with the senior authorities of the company. I would ask them to withdraw such bad products from the market and indulge in sustainable business practices.

Answer to Question 3
A personal value statement is a specific and concise statement that outlines the most important things in an individual’s life(Blackman, 2018). It has become essential to define personal values in today’s world as it becomes easier to find a career that can match with the harmony of self values. This statement also helps in defining an individual's moral fiber to the potential employers so that a standard is set in terms of defining success. For an individual who is creating a personal value statement, it is important to define what matters to him/her the most(Kangal, 2018). Thus, making a list of the important qualities and ranking them in order of their importance is the best approach to write a personal value statement. Overall, it is to be considered what makes an individual feel good along with what are the dreams for the future. Typically there are certain traits of values such as integrity, loyalty, simplicity, accuracy and ambition that can be emphasized while writing a personal value statement.

As a part of the job application based on the role of an account at a large business, the following is my personal value statement keeping the notion of accountability in perspective:

I am a highly ambitious individual and a quick learner who can adapt to different and diverse working environment effectively. I consider ethical and moral values as a top priority and in the job of accounting where financial calculations are concerned, moral and ethical values play a vital role. As an accountant I believe I will be accountable for any financial miscalculations or wrong financial statements preparation as the organization that I am employed with will rely on me regarding financial reporting. My strengths are loyalty, honesty and integrity based on which I can make my job role effective and trustworthy. In addition to that, I also value workplace relationships, since I will be spending a majority of the time in the office, so valuing and maintaining a healthy workplace relationship will help in creating a motivating work environment. Even in my previous stints with other organizations, I have maintained moral and ethical values in the toughest of situations where the situation demanded me to act unethically. Therefore, my personal value statement reflects my focus on integrity, honesty and loyalty, which I believe are three essential components in the job role of an accountant. ?

Blackman, A. (2018). What Are Your Personal Values? How to Define & Live by Them.Business EnvatoTuts+. Corporate Finance Institute.(2019). Accountability - Overview, Key Roles, and Examples.Corporate Finance Institute.

Juris, S. M. (2012). Accounting Fraud Cases Are Dead. Long Live Accounting Fraud Cases. Forbes.

Kangal, S. (2018).Role of Accounting in Creating Values and Accountability.Medium.


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