Accounting As A Profession Accounting Essay


Since the mid 19th century the increasing graduated table and range of planetary concern activity has created rich chances for the development of professional accounting. Specialized organisations emerged to set up the boundaries of the community of competent practicians, to supply order in the administration of professional personal businesss and to advance the involvements of their rank within a broader socio-economic scene. Like the rise of great metropoliss and the displacement to industrial economic systems, the visual aspect of new professions, like accounting, became a separating feature of modern society. These groups utilized their particular cognition to ease the smooth integrating of the new civil order ‘s many mutualist elements. During the class of the last four decennaries accounting historiographers have developed a rich organic structure of scholarship that explores the development of accounting professionalism peculiarly within national contexts.

2.0 DEFINING A Profession

Accounting has been described as an progressively ‘social pattern instead than a proficient pattern ‘ ( Carnegie and Napier, 2007, p.2 ) as it competes with other professional groups and businesss to pull and retain endowment. As a profession accounting has come under examination in many ways, peculiarly in epochs of corporate prostration. These events lead some to oppugn whether accounting meets the demands of a profession.

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In analyzing what distinguishes a profession from other businesss Yee and West, ( 2006 ) indicate that occupational position is a affair of perceptual experience and is endowed by the society in which an occupational group is constituted. An facet of the development of occupational position concerns the peculiar societal and cultural values which abide within the society in which an business is situated. Occupations that become known as professions are those that reflect prevailing societal and cultural values.

The standards of professionalism so are needfully brooding of the society which elevates the position of peculiar businesss while denying such an result to others. Enhanced occupational authorization enjoyed by professions is deemed to be derived from their sole expertness ( West, 2003 ) . West provides a series of quotation marks that describe cognition as the base of professions, for illustration:

what we now call a profession emerges when a figure of individuals are found to be practising a definite technique founded upon specialised preparation. A profession may possibly be defined as an business based upon specialised rational survey and preparation ( Carr-Saunders 1966/1928: 3-4 reported in West, 2003, p.34 ) .

A more recent description of a professional is:

The specialised cognition of the professional creates the footing for prestigiousness and societal distance between the expert and the client, since the client by definition is excluded from the esoteric cognition of the professional association. The footing of professional cognition is cognitive reason whereby the privileged position of the profession is grounded in a scientific subject ( Turner 1995, p. 133 ) .

Others have addressed professionalism from a sociological position, for case, Greenwood ( 1975 ) identified five distinguishable features that distinguish a profession from other business groups being: systematic theory ; authorization ; community countenance ; ethical codifications and ‘a civilization ‘ . Abercrombie et al. , ( 1994, p.335 ) extends this farther by proposing that embedded in these features is the impression that a profession relies on executing services non for its ain involvement but for the public good.

West ( 2003, p.40 ) concludes that the justification of professional groups remainders with the constructions of authorization that relates to the part the group makes to heightening societal order. Professions are characterized as occupational groups that enjoy mostly undisputed authorization in connexion with the proficient facets of the services they deliver ( West, 2003 p. 41 ) . The manner in which a professional group contributes to societal order necessitates an scrutiny of the particular cognition that is offered by the professional group.

3.0 Accounting AS A Profession

In the context of accounting, the public involvement is deemed to be served and the professional authorization of comptrollers justified when accounting information serves its declared intent and maps. It is clear that comptrollers exercise a significant grade of authorization within the accounting sphere as reflected by their sole rights to execute some accounting-related undertakings ( e.g. hearers study, readying of proficient facets of fiscal coverage pattern ) . West ( 2003 p.63 ) indicates that the development of the professionalisation of accounting is underpinned by the authorization that lies in cognitively based expertness every bit good as a societal procedure linked to societal category, gender and political sharp-sightedness of early comptrollers. The lift of accounting within the occupational continuum has besides been assisted by alterations in legislative and economic environments.

Elliott and Jacobson ( 2002, p.78 ) province that a profession is defined more by ‘its organic structure of cognition than by anything else ‘ . Although it may be argued that the cognition needed for professions alterations over clip, the organic structure of cognition encompassed e.g. by the accounting profession is recognized by society as holding sole rights to use that cognition, typically by some signifier of licensing.

In drumhead it is clear that the accounting profession as an occupational group has over clip achieved an elevated degree of authorization over fiscal coverage patterns that have been sourced from a coherent organic structure of subject cognition. Furthermore, the accounting profession has developed societal contracts that have evolved as a agency of specifying outlooks of appropriate ways of behaving as an comptroller.


Accounting is a really of import term to our modern society. It is the calling for work forces and adult females who at the start have their eyes set on top places in industry, direction, authorities, and general concern. Accounting is a basic demand of every business communities, from the operator of a filling station to the authorities of the United States. It ‘s so of import to our society. None of the concern organisation can run without is. They are there-somewhere-in every concern. In little concern, people use pen, ink and skill maintain teh records. In big concern, modern accounting machines are used to run. Men and adult females are directing these machines in the accounting procedure. Wise business communities enter concern must hold some accounting cognition.

Accounting is a critical component of concern. It records the manner a concern has grown and, after analysing figures, suggests the manner it should travel in the hereafter. Furtunes are gambled on the advice of comptrollers.


The context and kineticss of the planetary concern environment has resulted in alterations in the accomplishments set required by comptrollers seeking to add value for their clients. New concern theoretical accounts have meant the skyline and range of concern is no longer limited by national boundaries. As providers of concern information, the planetary concern environment has deductions for comptrollers as ‘knowledge professionals ‘ assisting to drive concerns frontward.

Many corporate entities now seek concern chances in the planetary market topographic point. Changing markets and progresss in engineering have manifest themselves as rapid alterations for all stakeholders where concern patterns, markets and capital adjust and/or move as portion of a pursuit for fringy gross.

In times of such alteration and development few would deny that the function of the traditional comptroller as a mere mark keeper is no longer a feasible subscriber to concern. The altering function of the comptroller has seen many observers over the last 20 old ages from around the universe knock the accomplishments set developed by pupils of undergraduate concern classs. Jointly, these groups have called for alterations in the manner comptrollers are educated. The demand for alteration is based on a figure of lacks identified in the accomplishment sets that alumnuss typically bring to the workplace.

There is some consensus which suggests the accomplishments of cognition professionals can non expeditiously be nurtured in university classs where the course of study is dominated by a raft of specialised proficient accomplishments. Some argue needed accomplishments required by tomorrow ‘s concern leaders will include movable proficient accomplishments along with generic, professional, ethical, and lifelong learning accomplishments.

The mixture of accomplishments is seen as necessary by employers as it helps them work out the diverseness of concern challenges. This raises the issue of whether there is congruity between accounting alumnus accomplishments and accomplishments sought by employers of alumnuss. This in bend raises two of import inquiries, foremost is at that place an ‘expectation spread ‘ between the existent content and property development of accounting classs and the accomplishments expected/anticipated by employers? Second, if this is so the instance, should universities alter to supply the accounting profession graduates to accommodate their outlooks? This survey explores the accounting profession ‘s demand for alumnuss with extremely developed generic accomplishments in an environment that requires comptrollers to show sophisticated degrees of proficient expertness to run into the demands of fiscal service markets.


In the past few old ages, the challenges confronting the profession of public accounting have become progressively complex in response to the alterations in the manner concern is conducted. An comptroller anyplace in the universe can no longer claim that the complexnesss of international concern have no bearing on his local profession. The barriers to international trade and international communicating have fallen down. In this universe of instant communicating and all over ht universe have to react to the challenge and be prepared to lift to the degree which requires that they interact with comptrollers and fiscal executives in other states.

One should besides maintain in head the coming of the computing machine and its capablenesss. Computerization has worked in tow ways: foremost, comptrollers have been freed of the modus operandi and deadening undertakings, and secondly, they have been challenged by the power of engineering available to them to execute at a higher and more sophisticated degree.

The good thing is that we are non entirely in the Arab universe confronting the alterations impacting the accounting profession. For illustration, in the United Sates there have been several efforts to better the quality of comptrollers coming out of their universities. My hope is that the academicians in the Arab universe lake note of the alterations confronting the accounting professional and prepare pupils for the twenty-first century if they want their alumnuss to busy cardinal accountant places. I, for one, will engage the best wherever I have to acquire them from and I need non restrict my palling to alumnuss organize local universities.


The International Federation of Accountants is besides active in the country of accounting instruction. IFAC has an instruction commission whose undertaking is to develop criterions, guidelines, treatment documents and other stuff on the instruction, preparation, and the go oning professional instruction of comptrollers. This commission is expected to move as a accelerator in conveying together developed and developing states and to help in the promotion of accounting plans word – broad.

IFAC had identified certain features that the modern professional comptroller should possess, in add-on to possessing accounting cognition and accomplishments, the modern comptrollers should besides be:

An enterpriser.

A fiscal analyst.

A planetary rival.

A market analyst.

A skilled sales representative.

A good communicator.

A capable negotiant.

A public dealingss specializer.

A general director.


Howieson ( 2003 ) outlines how the ‘knowledge age ‘ has meant that for comptrollers there is less conformity work and a greater accent on cognition and ability to pull off cognition as a trade good ( merchandise ) . Howieson indicates that this altering environment will make new ethical challenges and structural and operational alterations for comptrollers and their clients. Not merely will the comptroller of the hereafter require competency in processs, but besides problem-solving and client advice will be dominant characteristics of the skilled professional.

It is assumed that these alterations in the work environment of the comptroller have been instrumental in driving the enlisting schemes of big accounting houses. This includes the increased accent on the development of generic accomplishments as portion of the readying of new alumnuss. However, Jacobs ( 2003 ) argues that the incorporation of generic accomplishments into the course of study has been received uncritically, despite the deficiency of understanding as to how to learn or measure these accomplishments. Similarly employers who progressively demand these accomplishments are in fact non certain as to how to measure campaigners ‘ ownership of the accomplishments.

This survey utilizes legitimacy theory and more specifically the option of a societal contract that is a cardinal dogma of legitimacy theory, to prove the position that there is increasing incongruence of the value system and the societal system that underpin the accounting profession, given the alterations in outlooks of the accomplishment set of accounting alumnuss.


Merely as greed appears to hold been the driving force at many of the companies that have failed or had important restructurings, greed has become a force to postulate with in the accounting houses. In kernel, the civilizations of the houses have bit by bit changed from a cardinal accent on presenting professional services in a professional mode to an accent on turning grosss and profitableness. The gradual alteration has resulted in the steadfast civilization being drastically altered over the 40 old ages taking up to the terminal of the century. The historical focal point of the accounting houses was on quality service to clients in order to supply confidence to investors and creditors on the equity of clients ‘ fiscal statements.

The credibleness added to a client ‘s fiscal statements by the clean audit sentiment was the cardinal ground for an accounting house ‘s being. This focal point has given manner to a focal point on an ever-expanding scope of services offered to a client pool contending to accomplish the short-run net incomes per portion growing expected of them in the market place. This increased focal point on gross growing and profitableness was non, of class, limited to leaders of accounting houses, but the cardinal

duty of the accounting houses should be clear. Their function is to protect investors and creditors from being misled by fiscal statements that embraced unacceptable accounting and unequal revelations.

Therefore, while many participated in the cheapjack fiscal coverage of the epoch, accounting house leaders led their houses to the top of the list of entities that failed to run into investors ‘ justifiable outlooks. In kernel, the civilization of the prima houses in the profession has changed. New

forces who lacked a background that placed prominence on accounting professionalism is bit by bit deriving increasing influence in accounting houses.

The consulting weaponries are quickly turning and are deriving higher compensation degrees than the audit and revenue enhancement spouses. The leaders of the audit and revenue enhancement patterns are experiencing increasing force per unit area to turn grosss quickly and, more significantly, to turn net income borders in their service countries. Those with a installation to sell new work advanced more quickly. Cross-selling a scope of confer withing services to scrutinize clients has become one of the of import standards in the rating of audit spouses.

Those with the proficient accomplishments antecedently considered so critical to internal house promotion have found themselves with comparatively less of import functions. Staff forces within the houses are easy able to detect the properties of those who were the quickly lifting stars and undertook attempts to emulate these properties. The focal point on presenting choice professional service has non disappeared, of class. No 1 rang a bell in any house and announced, “ Quality professionalism is out! ” On the other manus, maintaining the client happy and making what was necessary to retain the client achieved a prominence that did non be prior to the coming of the consulting weaponries.

Chiefly commercial involvements have undermined the nucleus values of the professional house. The issue is non how the bringing of a peculiar consulting service might impact the hearers ‘ judgement. The issue is non how the being of confer withing fees that are greater than the one-year audit fees might impact the hearers ‘ judgement. The issue is how the increasing extract of forces non familiar with, or even appreciative of, the critical importance of presenting quality accounting and audit service will impact the internal house civilization, its top-level determinations, and the behavior forms of waxy staff forces. It is non that confer withing forces are unprofessional in executing their work, it is that their actions and behaviors are far more commercially driven than would be acceptable for audit forces.

The advisers do non concentrate on investor or creditor involvements, and their attitudes bit by bit affect how hearers approach their work. Hearers are more willing to take on extra hazard in order to keep their gross degrees. Many long-standing audit processs that put audit forces in touch with repeating minutess are being scaled back. Clients are more easy able to carry engagement spouses that their manner of sing a dealing is non merely acceptable but besides desirable. Audit spouses excessively frequently acquiesced to the client positions in the current period, holding to repair the job following twelvemonth.

The audit model is undermined, and the consequence is what we have late seen in monolithic bankruptcies, corporate restructurings, and ongoing judicial proceeding. The cultural alterations evolved over a long period and have become permeant in nature. The current challenge of house leaders is to derive an apprehension of how the current civilization evolved and how best to extinguish the detrimental commercial enterprises and reconstruct a proper grade of professionalism.


Ethical motives in accounting is of extreme importance to accounting professionals and those who rely on their services. Certified Public Accountants ( CPAs ) and other accounting professionals know that people who use their services, particularly determination shapers utilizing fiscal statements, expect them to be extremely competent, dependable, and nonsubjective. Those who work in the field of accounting must non merely be good qualified but must besides possess a high grade of professional unity. A professional ‘s good repute is one of his or her most of import ownerships.

The general ethical criterions of society apply to people in professions such as medical specialty and accounting merely every bit much as to anyone else. However, society topographic points even higher outlooks on professionals. Peoples need to hold assurance in the quality of the complex services provided by professionals. Because of these high outlooks, professions have adopted codifications of moralss, besides known as codifications of professional behavior. These ethical codifications call for their members to keep a degree of self-denial that goes beyond the demands of Torahs and ordinances.


By fall ining their professional organisations, people who work in the field of accounting agree to continue the high ethical criterions of their profession. Each of the major professional associations for comptrollers has a codification of moralss. The Code of Professional Conduct of the American Institute of CPAs ( AICPA ) , the national professional association for CPAs, sets forth ethical rules and regulations of behavior for its members.

The rules are positively stated and supply general guidelines that CPAs ( or any professionals, for that affair ) should endeavor to follow. The regulations of behavior are much more expressed as to specific actions that should or should non be taken. The Institute of Management Accountants ( IMA ) Standards of Ethical Conduct applies to practicians of direction accounting and fiscal direction, and the Institute of Internal Auditors ( IIA ) Code of Ethics applies to its members and to Certified Internal Auditors ( CIAs ) .


A separating grade of professions such as medical specialty and accounting is credence of their duties to the populace. The AICPA Code of Professional Conduct describes the accounting profession ‘s public as consisting of “ clients, recognition grantors, authoritiess, employers, investors, the concern and fiscal community, and others who rely on the objectiveness and unity of CPAs to keep the orderly operation of commercialism. ” Many, but non all, CPAs work in houses that provide accounting, scrutinizing, and other services to the general populace ; these CPAs are said to be in public pattern.

Regardless of where CPAs work, the AICPA Code applies to their professional behavior, although there are some particular commissariats for those in public pattern. Internal hearers, direction comptrollers, and fiscal directors most normally are employees of the organisations to which they provide these services ; but, as professionals, they, excessively, must besides be mindful of their duties to the populace.

The duties placed on accounting professionals by the three moralss codifications and the related professional criterions have many similarities. All three require professional competency, confidentiality, unity, and objectiveness. Accounting professionals should merely set about undertakings that they can finish with professional competency, and they must transport out their duties with sufficient attention and diligence, normally referred to as due professional attention or due attention. The codifications of moralss of the AICPA, IMA, and IIA all require that confidential information known to accounting professionals non be disclosed to foreigners.

The most important exclusion to the confidentiality regulations is that accounting professionals ‘ work documents are capable to subpoena by a tribunal ; nil correspondent to attorney-client privilege exists.

10.3 Independence

Keeping unity and objectiveness calls for avoiding both existent and evident struggles of involvement. This impression is termed independency. Bing independent in fact and in visual aspect agencies that one non merely is indifferent, impartial, and nonsubjective but besides is perceived to be that manner by others. While applicable to all accounting professionals, independency is particularly of import for CPAs in public pattern. The AICPA ‘s regulations refering to independence for CPAs who perform audits are elaborate and proficient. For case, a CPA lacks independency and therefore may non scrutinize a company if he or she ( or the partner or dependants ) owns stock in that company and/or has certain other fiscal or employment relationships with the client.


To a big extent, the accounting profession is self-regulated through assorted professional associations instead than being regulated by the authorities. The AICPA, the IMA, and the IIA have internal agencies to implement the codifications of moralss. Furthermore, the professional organisations for CPAs in each province, known as province societies of CPAs, have mechanisms for implementing their codifications of moralss, which are normally really similar to the AICPA Code. Misdemeanors of ethical criterions can take to a individual ‘s being publically expelled from the professional organisation. Because of the utmost importance of a professional comptroller ‘s repute, ejection is a strong disciplinary step. However, ethical misdemeanors can take to even more inauspicious effects for CPAs because of province and federal Torahs.

The province authorities issues a CPA ‘s licence to pattern, normally through an organisation known as the province board of accounting. Since province Torahs regulating the pattern of accounting typically include of import parts of the AICPA Code, the Code therefore additions legal enforceability. Consequently, ethical misdemeanors can ensue in the province ‘s revoking a CPA ‘s licence to pattern on a impermanent or even lasting footing. Because a accredited CPA is besides likely to belong to the AICPA and the province society of CPAs, probes of moralss misdemeanors may be carried out jointly by the AICPA, the province society, and the province board of accounting.

CPAs in public pattern who audit the fiscal statements of public corporations are capable to federal securities Torahs and ordinances, including the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC ) , which administers these Torahs, has wide powers to modulate corporations that sell their stock to the populace. One of import SEC demand is that these corporations ‘ fiscal statements be audited by an independent CPA. The SEC has the authorization to set up and implement auditing criterions and processs, including what constitutes independency for a CPA.

The SEC has mostly delegated standard scene to the private sector but retains oversight and enforcement duties. In 1998 the SEC and the AICPA jointly announced the creative activity of the Independence Standards Board ( ISB ) , a private-sector organic structure whose mission is to better hearer independency criterions. In denoting the formation of the ISB, the SEC reaffirmed the important importance of the CPA ‘s independency: “ [ M ] aintaining the independency of hearers of fiscal statements aˆ¦ is important to the credibleness of fiscal coverage and, in bend, to the capital formation procedure ” ( SEC Release FRR-50,1998 ) .



Solving ethical quandary in the accounting profession means doing certain you are entering and construing fiscal informations candidly and objectively. The pattern of accounting is regulated both by authorities and by the accounting industry itself. To assist comptrollers to guard against struggles of involvement and other signifiers of unprofessional behavior, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants ( AICPA ) promulgates a Professional Code of Conduct, every bit good as a drumhead usher that outlines a “ menaces and precaution ” attack to measuring your conformity

Measure 1

Consult the AICPA ‘s Code of Professional Conduct, the important beginning of the regulations that AICPA expects members to follow in the class of their professional traffics. Besides consult its Guide for Complying with Rules 102 — 505, which provides advice for covering with possible ethical quandary with regard to general criterions, independency, unity and objectiveness, confidentiality, fees, solicitation, and other basic subjects. Note, nevertheless, that the usher is non a replacement for direct audience of the Professional Code of Conduct. In an article for Journal of Accountancy, CPAs Martin A. Leibowitz and Alan Reinstein point out that while it “ helps CPAs comply with the codification in unusual ethical relationships or fortunes, the usher can ne’er warrant disobedience with the codification. ”

10.5.2 measure 2

Watch out for “ menaces ” to your ability to carry on yourself ethically: menaces to objectiveness posed by unequal self-review ; the hazard of wrongly recommending the involvements of an employer or client ( or wrongly opposing their involvements because of one ‘s ain inauspicious involvements ) ; undue influence of a client, employer or 3rd party ; and invasion of one ‘s ain fiscal involvements or the fiscal involvements of person near to you ( for illustration, having stock in the house you are scrutinizing ) .

10.5.3 measure 3

Assess the comparative badness of potentially compromising state of affairss. Not all ethical quandaries are created equal. If the menace can be reduced or eliminated by put ining precautions with the consequence that a sensible perceiver can hold that ethical regulations are non being violated — -i.e. , the menace is moderate plenty to be regarded as “ acceptable ” — -you may be able to go on the activity presenting the ethical quandary. Examples of such precautions include subjecting your decision-making to peer reappraisal to cut down the possibility of undue influence ; maneuvering clear of joint ventures with a client to cut down the menace of opportunism ; and supplying avenues of internal “ whistle blowing ” that employees can utilize without fright of reprisal

10.5.4 measure 4

If the ethical quandary facing you is distinct, terrible, and impossible to better, get away the compromising state of affairs presenting the ethical quandary. This can intend break uping a relationship with a client or discontinuing your occupation at an accounting house, after holding clearly documented your concerns. While drastic, such a class may be the lone manner to carry on you ethically and protect yourself from legal liability.


There is grounds to propose that on assorted occasions over the past decennary, society has the activities of accountants/auditors as a effect of comprehending that these professionals were non moving in the public involvement. the societal contract historically established between society and the accounting profession ( employers ) . In a globally competitory market where strong demand for appropriately qualified accounting alumnuss continues, employers are progressively voicing their penchant for specific alumnus accomplishments that reflect the value system of the house. Employers pay extremely for the ‘right ‘ individual who ‘fits the civilization ‘ of the organisation. Uncertainty exists about how ‘right ‘ may be interpreted by assorted stakeholders who have a legitimate involvement in the instruction and employment of accounting alumnuss presumptively educated to function the public involvement.

An of import inquiry to reference is: Should the accounting instruction system alteration to suit the demands of employers, needs that reflect their value system, if they are incongruent with society ‘s value system? While it is clear that accounting is a vocational subject, it is a subject that is profoundly entrenched as a profession. Although the production of alumnuss that are ‘work-ready ‘ is a common gimmick in authorities and university publications, we must be aware of guaranting that the outlooks of society, that give the subject legitimacy as a profession, remain at the head of any alteration.

In stoping allow me state one last clip that the demands on the accounting profession have changed and if we do non alter the manner we educate our comptrollers we will be left behind. We should develop a maestro program for the instruction of comptrollers. This requires that we follow the strategic attack recommended by IFAC. We should measure our strengths and failings, place our ends, find what it takes to get at our ends including the clip and resources needed, and above all we must move get downing today.

The accounting profession to the degree of credibleness that it one time enjoyed. The leaders of the human dynamo big accounting houses must admit that some serious appraisal of the current province of personal businesss is necessary. The accounting profession is an of import aspect of our society, and its endurance should non trust on the effectivity of some statute law. The leaders of the profession, whoever they may be, necessitate to derive an apprehension of why they have failed to function the populace good in recent old ages. These leaders need to encompass policies now that will enable their professional staffs to one time once more run into the populace ‘s outlooks.


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