In the first part of the course project, you were asked to evaluate current levels of regulation from a perspective of efficiency. In this second part of the course project, you are going to evaluate current levels of regulation from the perspective of accountant responsibility. There are four major parts to this paper: 1) Begin with an introduction to accountant responsibility. Accountants have a responsibility to three major parties: their clients, third parties, and the government. Discuss these three parties in detail, and outline the various responsibilities that the accountant has to each. 2) Search the Internet (www.sec.gov is a great resource) for actions that have been brought against accountants or accounting firms. Select an action/claim that relates to each of the three parties discussed in part 1 of the paper, and summarize the details. For each of the three actions/claims, identify which act or law was broken by the accountant and how. 3) As discussed in this unit, there is a limited accounting-client privilege. Currently, this privilege applies only to civil cases brought by the IRS or U.S. government. Should the accounting-client privilege be expanded (as it is in law and medical fields)? Why or why not? If the accounting- client privilege were to be expanded, how would that affect the accountant’s whistle-blowing responsibility? 4) Conclude your paper with a discussion of priority. Accountants are liable to a variety of individuals/groups: clients, government, shareholders, community, etc. What or who should take priority? Obviously, accountants have a responsibility to obey the law, but where does priority lie beyond the rules and regulations? For example, consider a situation in which a company has organized their books in a way that does not technically break the law, but that could be confusing to investors/shareholders. A scenario such as this involves each of the three major parties to which the accountant is liable. Find a real-life example to support your conclusion.
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