Traditionally, accountants have followed an objective of Financial statements. According to Alexander and Britton(1993): “The objective of financial statements is to provide information about the financial position, performance and changes in financial position of an enterprise that is useful to a wide range of users in making economic decisions”.Moreover, Financial statements of a corporation should give a positive impact to whoever is interested recording every entry clearly. As a consequence, investors or other users who are interested in making economic decisions are also interested in transparency of financial statements.
According to the conceptual framework, the potential users of financial statements are investors, creditors, suppliers, employees, customers, governments and agencies, and the general public (Financial Accounting Standards Board, 2006). The primary users are investors, creditors, and those who advise them. It goes on to define the criteria that make up each potential user, as well as, the limitations of financial reporting. The FASB explicitly states that financial reporting is “but one source of information needed by those who make investment, credit, and similar resource allocation decisions. Users also need to consider pertinent information from other sources, and be aware of the characteristics and limitations of the information in them” (Financial Accounting Standards Board, 2006). With this in mind, it is still particularly difficult to determine whom the financials should be catered towards and what level of prudence is necessary for quality judgment.
Most profit making companies understand conducting business within an ethical reporting framework is the proper way to report quarterly results. Often accounting managers are given opportunities to exercise judgment in financial reporting, using their knowledge about the business to improve the effectiveness of financial statements. However, accounting professionals need to perform their job tasks in accordance with laws, regulations, and technical standards while supplying information that is accurate, clear, concise, and timely. At the same time, managers need to be free from pecuniary anxieties, and disclose all relevant information that could influence an intended recipients understanding of the analyses or reports. However, when managers have incentives to produce positive results, profit management can occur while misleading those who review the company’s financial statements.
Ethics plays a vital role in developing accurate and high quality financial statements for management, financial institutions, and investors. As management utilizes financial statements to make decisions regarding the operations of the business, it is necessary to review accurate financial statements to make strategic decisions about the future of the organization. Investors and financial institutions require accurate financial statements to make informed decisions upon whether to invest funds into the organization or the wisdom of lending funds to said organization.
Accounting ethics has been difficult to control as accountants and auditors must keep in mind the interest of the public while that they remain employed by the company they are auditing. The accountants should take into account how to best apply accounting standards when company faces issues related financial loss. The role of accountant is crucial to society. They serve as financial reporters to owe their primary constraint to public interest. The information provided is critical in aiding managers, investors and others in making crucial economic decisions. An accountant is responsible for any fraudulent financial reporting. Some examples of fraudulent reporting are:
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.
Accounting is the language of business. Accounting records and processes financial information into an accessible format that can be understood by anybody in the business world. It is defined in business that accounting is “the recording, measurement, and interpretation of financial information.” (Ferrell, Hirt, Ferrell, 2016, p. 286). Companies uses accounting tools to evaluate organizational operations. Accountants summarize the information from a firm’s business transactions in various financial statements for a variety of stockholders. There is a lot of business failures that happen because of information that is “hidden” in the financial statements. Cash flow is the greatest concern of management. For businesses to succeed, they need
Modern information system is now popular all over the world, it also change the accounting area. Instead of the old manual analysis, many companies making effort in developing a fitted accounting information system for themselves, as they realize the advantages that the new technology brings in - more efficient and accurate in processing, integrated data, detailed record etc. However, even though there are so many benefits, the functional system also brings challenges, making new requirements to the accountants and auditors. This paper will discuss the impact of technology to the accounting information system, as well as the necessary capability ethics that the accountants should learn in this 21th century.
A company’s ultimate goal is to make money and remain a going concern. With that goal in mind, management must continually report sustained or improved earnings to stakeholders to ensure constant and new investments in the company’s future (Geiger & van der Laan Smith, 2010). The pressure to report positive results can lead management to engage in earnings management activities to alter short-term results to meet the goals set forth (Geiger & van der Laan Smith, 2010). In addition to the pressures on company management, broad accounting principles introduce ethical issues into the accounting profession (Gibson, 2011). Merchant and Rockness (1994) suggested the practice of earnings management introduces “the most important ethical issues facing the accounting profession” (p. 79) while Rosenzweig and Fischer (1994) noted it to be “a significant ethical concern” (para. 18).
Nowadays with the implementation of new emerging technologies, the way businesses keep this financial information has become computerised. At the moment businesses use computers with a computerised accounting system in order to perform many other new activities than what they were able to do in the past. Businesses can access financial information from different department in the organisation, access to the information through computers and find financial data very fast, being more efficient. (Beliss, 2013)