“Why society needs accountants” – Trust, the key of our economy
Nowadays we live in a society which is more complex than ever. The improved information systems of the last decades made the world more integrated, intertwined and interdependent than before. Due to the high speed of information sharing, the perspective of the world can literally change in a day. Perhaps most illustrative for this is the financial capital market. Millions of profits are being made by traders, taking advantage of a split second of arbitrage. Bad news from China can affect the stock markets in the world for weeks. Misunderstood US mortgages could initiate of a global economic crisis of which is affecting our society still nowadays. But the question is: why are accountants needed in this complex society? What is the role of an accountant in our society ? First I will discuss the role of accounting in the current accounting and ...view middle of the document...
And even cash is an interesting phenomenon. We all know that the real value of the paper is not a fraction of the perceived value which is noted on top of the paper. We all agreed on the fact that a €50 note has a value of €50. We all trust in the fact is resembles the value of €50. But what if this trust disappears? What if nobody wants to accept your cash? If the bank will not provide you your own money? Exactly , without this trust the economy will not work.
Here is where an accountant is needed . An accountant plays a vital role in safeguarding the trust of the markets. By controlling the financial statements of a company accountants provide society a guarantee that the information is (to a certain extent) trustworthy. With trustworthy information the markets will (as can be seen in the example) work more efficient and it increases the financial stability of the economy. By controlling the financial statements of a company, an accountant checks whether the information provided by a company reflects the reality. This will enables the society to control and hold a company responsible for their captured behaviour.
I believe that this last part will become more and more important in the future. The role of a financial accountant or management accountant is generally well-known. A more unknown field of accounting is the role of Social Accounting. In short it aims to capture and articulate a firm’s financial and non-financial impact on society by which they will be judged and held accountable for. With the goal in creating a more sustainable world, society requires more information of companies about their impact on the society. Sustainability needs to be measured, reported and assured. In my opinion accountants have the required skills to take the lead in creating more accurate and reliable non-financial data measures and set up information system to provide companies feedback and held them responsible for their behaviour. All in all I believe that next to the vital role an accountant plays in the creating an efficient and trustworthy economy, it could also make a significant contribution towards a more social and sustainable world.