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Accounting: Ethics and Responsibilities

1. Explain the duties of board members.

2. Explain the responsibilities of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

3. Describe how the ethical issues and potential for conflicts surrounding accounting practices go far beyond merely combining services.

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I also attached one supporting article on the responsibilities of Board members.


1. Explain the duties of board members.

There are ten basic board member responsibilities:

1. Determine the organization's mission and purpose and review these on an annual basis.

It is impossible to ensure the effective operation of an organization whose mission is unclear, since the only way to know whether you are progressing towards your goal is to have a clear idea of what that goal is. Many organizations assume that everyone knows what the mission is, but often, asking each Board member to write it out produces startling results. So, it is important to spend some time reviewing your mission. This is especially important for new Board members who have not had the benefit of years of experience in understanding what the organization is all about.

2. Ensure effective organizational planning.

The major differences in Board governance centre on the extent to which the Board directs its energies to ensuring or the extent to which it concentrates on planning. Most Boards of organizations which have significant numbers of staff, see themselves as policy Boards. That is, the Board sets policy, and the staff carries it out. However, two significantly different ways of carrying out the Board's policy-setting responsibilities can be found in different organizations.

3. Determine and monitor the organization's programs and services.

The Board, often with the assistance of staff, develops and approves personnel policies, operating policies, financial policies, program policies, and a myriad of other policies. These Boards traditionally approve the initiation of new programs or activities, or the cancellation of programs or activities. They approve contracts with insurance carriers, grant applications, and many other policies which are fundamental to the ongoing operation of the organization.

4. Select the Executive Director.

The Board members select the Executive Director.

5. Support the Executive Director and review her/his performance.

First, the appraisal should not be used as a report card on the Executive Director. Second, the appraisal is not an end in itself. Rather, it is a tool to help the Board to identify, with the Executive Director, future goals. Third, an annual performance appraisal should not take the place of ongoing discussions between the Executive Director and key Board members about personal goals.

6. Ensure adequate resources.

The ...

Solution Summary

This solution describes the duties of board members, the responsibilities of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and how the ethical issues and potential for conflicts surrounding accounting practices go far beyond merely combining services. Supplemented with one article on the role of board members.