In many places and stories throughout the Bible, the importance of accountability is greatly emphasized. Most importantly we must remember that we will each one day be held accountable before God and will one day have to bow before Christ. It is made very clear to us that we are each individually responsible for all of our actions and words whether at home, work school, etc. When we do not have a sense of accountability to God, we gravitate towards ruthless acts and self righteous decisions. In addition to having accountability to God we must also show the same accountability towards one another. Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17). We are to live in relationship with one another and be members of a community. Furthermore, God intended accountability to be a freeing process because it gives direction, security and encouragement. Our accountability to God will reflect in how we handle everyday business transactions.
God wants us to have accountability primarily because our flesh is too weak to stand alone. We need to have a voice of reason for times we are too stubborn to listen and when we have put our agenda above Gods. In business, accountability reduces chaos and allows the business to be successful and serve the good of the community. In his book, Rick Boxx provided a few reasons why God wants us to accountable to someone:
• Our sinful nature needs to be examined objectively.
• We need another source of wisdom when God isn’t getting our attention.
• To put order in a chaotic world.
• We need to learn humility.
• We gain different perspectives.
• It is a way to distribute wealth to others in need.
• Protection. (Boxx, 2002)
In accounting practices, individuals are responsible for producing financial records and statements. These financial records can be for both internal and external use and accuracy is tremendously important. Rules and guidelines, such as Generally Accepted Accounting Practices, have been to put into place to ensure that each individual is held to the same standards and expectations. Two of the leading characteristics of accountability, is being responsible and conscious. For every financial record that is produced, it is the responsibility of the accountant to be aware of and understand the laws and regulations. Producing financial records involves the placement of monies. In the event that funds are placed into a wrong account or accounted for incorrectly, the individual who initially produced the documents will have to explain the reasoning for the erroneous information. Under any and all circumstances we have to be willing to answer for our actions. As an employee, this shows our employers that we do not have a problem taking responsibility and furthermore provides a positive, powerful message about our character.
Accountability is and will be continue to be an ethical issue in the business community. Individual decisions have a huge impact on businesses and we have to be willing to be accountable for our actions – good or bad. In my current position, I have to make sure that during every interaction with each customer I am making the most ethical decision possible. One of the major facets of ethical decision making is