Society has bestowed on professional accountants the sole rights to undertake specific services (e.g., preparing and signing off financial statements or auditing them) and rightly expects something in return. Thus, accountants have a major responsibility to maintain the public interest above and beyond their own personal interests. During their work accountants will undoubtedly be confronted by severe tension, as highlighted in Section “Accounting Scandals,” as they attempt to balance the conflicting demands between commercial interests, such as maintaining a consistent, if not growing, share price, and their duty to uphold the public good.

This tension will exacerbate during times of crisis, as discussed in Section “Motivations ...

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