Ethical And Legal Obligations of Financial Reporting

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The FASB, SEC, and PCAOB Ethical financial reporting is critical to ensure consumer confidence within an economy. Accounting entries record cash transactions in the form of financial reports. Financial reporting is used to interpret and analyze business activities for the purpose of investing and efficient management. Misrepresentations, whether intentional or accidental, can send the wrong signal to interested parties resulting in wrong decisions being made. Companies have an ethical and legal obligation to financial reporting. To ensure correct reporting is followed, several agencies are employed to regulate business. The Financial Accounting Standards Board, FASB, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, PCAOB, are all agencies involved in promoting fair accounting principles for United States businesses. The most commonly known regulating agency is the SEC. It is the government ruling agency that oversees accounting for publicly traded companies in the United States. This agency was created in 1934 in response to the events which lead to the Great Depression. The mission statement of the SEC is "to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation" (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2006). Instead of implementing its own rules, the SEC has chosen the FASB to set high quality accounting standards to protect public interests (Wikipedia, 2006a). In response, the FASB has developed Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, GAAP, to regulate U.S. companies. As a non-profit, private organization, the FASB has no influence by government agencies or other groups. As business changes, the FASB updates GAAP to remain applicable to... ... middle of paper ... ...York: McGraw-Hill. Marshall, D., McManus, W. and Viele, D. (2004b). Financial Statements and Accounting Concepts/Principles. In M. Marcus (Ed.) Accounting: what the numbers mean (pp. 29-50). New York: McGraw-Hill. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (2006). The Investor's Advocate: How the SEC Protects Investors, Maintains Market Integrity, and Facilitates Capital Formation. Retrieved May 7, 2006 from http://www.sec.gov/about/whatwedo.shtml Wikipedia Contributors. (2006a). Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 5, 2006 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCAOB Wikipedia Contributors. (2006b). Financial Accounting Standards Board. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 5, 2006 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FASB
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