Ethics and why they are important in using Accounting Software
By Kevin Alexander
Computerized Accounting acc231-f2014-ol-u-91502.001
Accounting is an honorable profession. Accountants must adhere to a set of standards that many other professionals do not have to be subject to. The ethical aspect for an accountant working in the public or private sector comes down to them being vigilant in making sure there are no outside chances of outside forces manipulating financial records which could lead to both ethical and criminal violations (Lister, 2014). Using ethical standards when using accounting software is very important whether you are an accountant, bookkeeper, or a small business owner. The following: technology, segregation of duties, and balance will provide some explanation to why ethics is important in using accounting software.
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Segregation of Duties
Internal controls are essential in ethical accounting. Often in manual accounting, different employees are assigned different tasks of the accounting method. Accountants and employees sometimes feels it is easier perform unethical practices in manual accounting because so many hands are involved in the accounting process. By using computerized accounting software, information can be handled by one person. Using the software lowers the possibility of fraudulent acts being done by those employees in charge of using the software (Wicks, 2014).
When faced with difficult tasks, human nature often takes over and we tend to try to cheat our to either get out of that task or cheat and take short cuts to complete. In accounting, many accountants or employees face an ethical dilemma to complete a task by any means possible. Again, internal controls must be set, but also there must be a balance between excessive and minimal internal controls. Excessive internal accounting controls lead to increased complexity of accounting practices. The accounting software such not be excessively complex as this leads to the employees who use it to manipulate the controls and perform unethical practices. The software should promote ethical usage from its ease of use (Wicks, 2014).
For an accountant, his or her ethics is really the backbone of their work. Working with an organizations finances is very important and if manipulated can ruin a company. By using accounting software, ethics in accounting are handled in a more managed and positive way. Internal controls are able to be met more efficiently and employees are less likely to manipulate the accounting software for unethical reasons.
Lister, J. (n.d.). Ethical Issues Facing the Accounting Profession | Chron.com. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/ethical-issues-facing-accounting-profession-18307.html
Wicks, D. (2014, September 3). Organizational Improvement & Ethics in Accounting | eHow. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/info_12015007_organizational-improvement-ethics-accounting.html