Being an Accountant…
Is it worth the risk?
Elizabeth A Runkel
March 3, 2003
Accounting is the art of organizing, maintaining, recording and analyzing financial activities.1 This information is used by managers of all business organizations and in some cases by others who have an indirect financial interest in the business. Business transactions represent economic events that affect the financial condition of the business.1 There must be an agreed body of knowledge and skill that must be acquired and demonstrate those abilities before anyone can claim to be practicing as an accountant or any other profession. The accounting profession’s ethical standards are found in the rules and regulations of the AICPA, state accounting societies, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the General Accounting Office and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. These rules are in a constant state of change and it is the responsibility of the accountant to monitor and abide by these rules and regulations. This essay will review what being an accountant entails, the rules and regulations that accountants follow and the risk of this profession is in comparison with other professions. I will conclude with why people choose this profession and the obligations that drive them to stay.
Professions develop rules of conduct that are sometimes referred to as Code of Ethics. The accounting profession as adopted such rules in order to codify principles that apply to the accounting profession. In order to claim a group as a “profession”, there is a widely accepted definition that is as follows:
“The term “profession” refers to a group….pursuing a learned art as a common calling in the spirit of public service – no less a public service because it may incidentally be a means of livelihood. Pursuit of the learned art in the spirit of public service is the primary purpose.”2
Pound explains further that a profession is distinguished by having, (1)...