One of the more popular professions in the current world is the profession of accounting. It is popular among many persons for various reasons. While some of these reasons are good, others are misplaced. They ought not to be termed as reasons as to why one would want to get into a particular profession in the first place. Such reasons include the belief that accounting is among the professions that present an individual with an opportunity to accumulate wealth very fast, albeit in an unorthodox manner. In essence, this submission seeks to highlight common criminal pitfalls that claim members of the accounting profession. More often than not, they fall victims to these pitfalls in quick rich schemes which fail, leaving them with egg on their faces and fraud charges to boot.
A number of examples could be used to illustrate criminal pitfalls that claim members of the accounting profession. These may include but are not limited to; creative accounting, padded accounting, financial statement fraud and asset misappropriation. While such crimes as corruption and bribery also affect members of other professions, they are also among the criminal pitfalls that continuously claim members of the accounting profession. An exposition of the above pitfalls would be significant so as to be able to put them into context. Creative accounting arises where the accountants in an organization or firm “play around” with the figures in the books of account so as to cover up some anomalies in the books. These anomalies could have arisen due to misappropriation of funds or outright theft of the monetary resources of an organization. Furthermore, creative accounting could also arise where senior members of the organization instruct the organization’s accountants to adjust figures in the books of account so that the organization may make an unlawful gain. For instance, figures in the books of account could be adjusted so as to make it appear like the organization made much lower profits. This will in turn mean that the organization will pay a lower tax amount to the government. However, more often than not, this mischief is usually discovered and it is the accountants of such organizations who usually take the fall.
Asset misappropriation as the name suggest entails improper use of the assets of the organization. Once again, this is one of the criminal pitfalls that have claimed many accountants. Asset misappropriation may involve such activities as forging of the cheques of a firm or organization, stealing of inventory or services and payroll fraud. These crimes usually implicate accountants in one way or the other. Ultimately, it is the accountants who take the most significant blame when such crimes come to light as they could not have easily occurred without their facilitation.
Despite the existence of these ills which bedevil the accounting profession, all is not lost. Indeed, various measures have been taken so as to minimize or completely eliminate these criminal pitfalls. Significant among these is the establishment of international accounting standards which all accountants are expected to adhere to. Secondly, firms have taken more seriously the role of auditing. Consequently, their books of accounts are constantly audited by both internal and external auditors so as to minimize any chances of accounting fraud. Indeed, auditing is one of the core units that are taught in almost all accounting courses. Lastly, various accounting bodies have been established so as to train their members on these pitfalls with the hope that armed with such knowledge, they will not fall victim and subsequently disgrace themselves and the profession.
Coenen, T. (2013, February 12). AllBusiness. Retrieved October 26, 2013, from AllBusiness: http://www.allbusiness.com/crime-law-enforcement-corrections/criminal-offenses/6635361-1.html