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Accountants, Gatekeepers and Ethical Dilemmas

1. Explain the importance of accountants.

2. List the responsibilities of gatekeepers. Describe briefly, the most important ethical dilemma faced by these professionals.

3. Explain how conflict of interests can arise in a profession. Explain the ethical duties regarding such professionals.

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1. Explain the importance of accountants.

Accountants play an important role in corporate and national affairs. In fact, accounting is the means by which information about an enterprise is communicated and, thus, is sometimes called the language of business. Many different users have need for accounting information in order to make important decisions. These users include investors, creditors, management, governmental agencies, labor unions, and others. Because the primary role of accounting information is to provide useful information for decision-making purposes, it is sometimes referred to as a means to an end, with the end being the decision that is helped by the availability of accounting information. It is therefore difficult to overstate the importance of accountants to both the success of corporations and individuals.

"Accountants (and auditors) help to ensure that the Nation's firms are run efficiently, its public records kept accurately, and its taxes paid properly and on time. They analyze and communicate financial information for various entities such as companies, individual clients, and government. Beyond carrying out the fundamental tasks of the occupation?preparing, analyzing, and verifying financial documents in order to provide information to clients?many accountants also offer budget analysis, financial and investment planning, information technology consulting, and limited legal services. Specific job duties vary widely among the four major fields of accounting and auditing: public, management, government accounting, and internal auditing" (

"Accountants provide the information necessary to determine and evaluate the present and projected economic activities of organizations. They provide financial services to individuals, business entities, not-for-profit organizations, and government at all levels. Professional accountants develop and apply their skills in auditing, taxation, management policy, information systems, computer operations, and many other areas" (

Accounting is not limited to a few specific areas of specialization, but there a number of important areas of specialization. Accountant's roles have evolved to include:
? Tax planning
? Tax preparation
? Managerial accounting
? Cost accounting
? Governmental accounting
? Auditing
? International accounting
? Corporate and partnership tax

Given the fact that paying ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains the importance of accountants and lists the responsibilities of gatekeepers. It then describes the most important ethical dilemma faced by these professionals and how conflict of interests can arise in a profession and the ethical duties regarding such professionals.