Morality in Accounting

By Ahmed Riahi-Belkaoui | Go to book overview

5
Accounting and Social Responsibility

Following World War II, most of the economies of the Western countries, some of the socialist countries, and even some of the Third World countries have experienced constant growth and increasing strength and have produced new arrays of goods and services intended to meet people's high expectations and living standards. What was asked from the economy was an improvement in the quality of life. To most people this concept meant more than the provision of goods and services. It is rather a state of the world depending on a satisfactory resolution of all social issues: ecology, technology, pollution, urban blight, education, housing, crime, energy, urban congestion, poverty, population growth, monopoly power, consumer problems, discrimination, high national debt, and so forth. All the sectors of the economy moved at one point or another to tackle these issues and improve the quality of life. The result has been far from perfect. A. W. Clausen ventures the following explanation: "I submit that a major reason for our inadequate response is that we find the quality of life issue confusing -- and that the prime cause of that confusion is a lack of even the crudest form of measurements of 'quality.'"1

It is easy to concur with the above statement and suggest that the confusion may be cleared with the development of an "arithmetic of quality" leading to an eventual "social report." 2 Such a social report would identify, evaluate, and measure those aspects essential to maintain an adequate quality of life for all the members of a nation as defined by social goals. Daniel Bell rightfully argues that these social goals should deal with the "ability of an individual citizen to establish a career commensurate with his abilities and live a full and healthy life equal to his biological potential, and include a definition of the levels of an adequate standard of living and the elements of a decent physical and social environment." 3 The arithmetic of quality and the eventual production of social reports in conformity with social goals at

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Morality in Accounting
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Fairness as a Concept of Justice in Accounting 1
  • 2 - Ethics in Accounting 25
  • 3 - Examples of Ethical Issues and Cases 75
  • 4 - Honesty in the Accounting Environment 119
  • 5 - Accounting and Social Responsibility 149
  • 6 - Truth in Accounting 177
  • Conclusions 201
  • Notes 202
  • Bibliography 206
  • Index 209
  • About the Author 213
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