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Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller

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Chapter 13

Accountants and Auditors

For an economic organization to function, it must have its own memories and its own way of storing, accessing, and communicating those memories. Accountants manage the repositories of financial memories, whether of an organization or of an individual client. Auditors evaluate and interpret their work. Accountants—particularly those who are chief financial officers of companies—are essential to finance because they preserve the integrity of essential financial structures.

People who are actively involved in managing and running a business will typically have fine short-term memories, but, like most of us, they may not always be able to remember details over time. They are best at remembering the specifics of ...

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