Shady Accounting Vs. Bean Counting Term Paper

Length: 2 pages Subject: Accounting Type: Term Paper Paper: #64615452 Related Topics: Payroll, Cost Accounting, Accounting, Value Creation
Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … consensus as to whether accounting is more 'bean counting' or more shady dealing, most will agree that accounting is extremely important to the operations of an organization." Address that statement, what is your opinion of accounting with regards to bean counting vs. shady dealing? Also without using a book definition, why do you feel accounting is important to the operations of an organization?

In my experience, accounting would be similar to the "been counting" perception. Most of the companies I have worked for have taken accounting very serious and I wasn't aware of any attempts to try to fudge numbers or be shady in anyway. In my jobs there was an emphasis placed on accounting for everything and keeping accurate records. However, in most cases I wasn't involved in any of the official preparation of the actual reporting of the financial statements. It is reasonable to suspect that if any shady activities were to occur, it would be in this accounting activity and less with the day-to-day stuff.

However, I have heard of some fairly minor accounting violations in experience. For example, one employee was reimbursed for mileage for driving his own vehicle to a training session in a distant location. He admittedly "padded" the miles that he drove so that he would receive more compensation for driving. However, although this could be considered a serious offense, it would not actually change the company's financial statements in any significant manner. I think the worst shady violations would come from within the accounting department and would consist of purposely misrepresenting the company's position to reduce its tax liability or appear more financially attractive to


Although it is an administrative function and isn't directly responsible for any kind of value creation, an effective accounting department will add substantial value to an organization in a multitude of indirect ways. For example, having accurate records can allow managers to make better operational decisions which can in fact lead to more profitability.

Student 1's post: In my opinion, accounting is viewed more from a bean counting perspective but I feel that could vary depending on the business. In my line of work (Xerox) it is more bean counting as compared to a business like maybe a casino, where there might be more shadiness involved behind the scenes. Accounting is extremely important and vital to an organization in order to know where a company is with regard to their financial obligations against what they are bringing in from a revenue perspective. Without accounting a business would be hard pressed to be able to determine what areas of the business they need to focus on to save money. Accounting could be the determining factor of whether or not a company should stay in business.

I agree. It seems like a large majority of the major corporations that have a large number of different locations mostly take a more bean counter approach to accounting. Companies such as these will have many layers of internal oversight as well as external auditors as well. Companies that deal with a lot of cash and have a limited number of locations would likely be more predisposed to trying to pull off some kind of shady accounting tricks. While I think this would be the most common situation, there are obviously many examples to the contrary. Companies like Enron, Tyco, and Kmart were all large organizations that were guilty of shady accounting.

Student 2's post: My opinion of accounting with regards to bean counting vs. shady dealing is that accounting is more closely associated to bean counting rather than shady dealing. Shady dealings in my opinion can occur in any aspecet of any organization, ghost companies that are created to hide shady dealings, ghost payroll/employees to pay people that are listed as employees on paper…

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