What is Accounting? Why is it Important for a Firm, Country and International Trade? Accounting is concerned primarily with how to gather, record, analyze, interpret and communicate information about an individual's or organisation's financial performance and risk. Whoever performs these activities is called as an accountant. Accountancy is a profession that is a moral community of shared norms, values, and definitions of appropriate behaviour. Most professions adhere to a code of conduct and, though each code varies, an accepted condition of professionalism is adherence to a more rigorous standard of conduct than required by law. In essence, a code provides assurance that the profession's members have principles and that the profession implements and sustains high standards (Ward & Ward 1996). Today, most countries require individuals and firms to hire an accountant for preparing their tax declarations and other accounting reports and documentations. A qualified accountant should have graduated from a business school and hold a certification. Today accountants should apply both the home country's and the other countries’ accounting regulations and codes. As accounting regulations are frequently changed, it is not easy to learn continuously that is why international accounting institutions are trying to have standard accounting rules. What are Ethics and Accounting Ethics? Is it Important in the Accounting Profession? One of the most important job characteristics of accounting is to affect a firm's and country's economic results by preparing tax declarations. If accountants do not behave ethically, the firm and/or country will be damaged financially; that is why accounting is a very important profession which needs ethical standards and codes. Ethics can be defined as ‘the philosophical study of morality, and, accordingly, morality is clearly identified as the characteristic subject matter of ethics’ (Mappes 1988: 35). Ethics is also defined as the study of standards of conduct and moral judgment (Webster's 1983).
Globalization and Social Responsibility There are however many different perspectives upon what is meant by corporate social responsibility and how this might be applied within organisations. This book explores some of these different perspectives based upon the experiences of different people in different parts of the world. This book recognises the international scope of the interest in corporate social responsibility both through the contributions made by the authors of the respective chapters, who come from various parts of the world, and also through the international importance of the perspectives offered by these contributors.