Dynamic Culture of Accounting Profession
Cost Accounting 303
October 25, 2009
In the business world, the Accounting profession has been referred to by many as the “language of business.” The field is defined as the study of how businesses track their income and assets over time. Duties involve preparing financial statements, computing costs, and developing certain tax strategies. Accountants, today, work as consultants in business. They advise management in many different financial decisions and are involved in many business transactions. An accountant must possess a wide variety of skills. Analytical skills, computer skills, and communication skills are all necessary to have in the profession. The changing atmosphere of the accounting profession has resulted in a more demanding curriculum, but allows for many diverse job options in accounting.
Accounting has undergone many changes over the past several decades that have changed the field drastically. Globalization is a key factor that changed the profession and how it is defined. Since many companies are now going overseas, the need for a set international standard of accounting is needed. For example, more investors are looking overseas for possible investment opportunities, so reliable information from an international company is needed. Accounting professionals must keep up with globalization by providing more accurate and up-to-date information. They must understand foreign companies’ business practices and business laws. Another factor that contributes to the changing environment of the field of Accounting is the increase regulations and government control. Financial accounting usually is overseen by the Federal Accounting Standards Board, FASB. Accountants must also conform to the principles which are outlined in the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, GAAP. In the past decade, a handful of incidents have called for changes in regulations. Major scandals include the incident of Enron and TYCO electronics. In response to these scandals, the federal government has created the Sarbanes Oxley Act. This law set new standards that would enhance companies’ reliability and accuracy in their financial reporting. Many aspects of the legislation provided significant changes, particularly in how auditing is conducted. These changes call for companies to spend millions of dollars to keep in compliance of the new legislation. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 also allowed for changes that greatly affects internal users such as managers and executives. New industries have also called for major changes in the Accounting profession. In the future, changes will occur that will increase the outlook for accounting majors. Many current accountants are retiring or a few years away.
The accounting field is increasingly becoming more demanding. To keep up with the dynamic culture of accounting, the curriculum and standards for accounting has become stricter. The highest certification for an accountant is passing the Certified Public Accountant exam, CPA. This rigorous exam is composed of four parts, which include auditing, financial accounting and reporting, regulation, and business environment. Before, people gained the certification by simply passing the four part exam. However, in the past decade, new requirements have been set before a person can sit for the exam. …