The spirit of the law is demonstrated by examining the legitimate goals of a company, which provide it with ethical direction and by examining the duties of the accounting professionals who are accountable to the company as well as the general public. These professional responsibilities are determined by their legitimate economic functions. The major responsibilities of the external auditor are first, to evaluate financial statements and ensure that such statements reflect the financial facts of a company and second, to closely monitor the financial markets and query irregular practices that would obfuscate the facts. To achieve these objectives the auditor has to resort to professional skepticism.1
The competence of an accountant is dependant to a very large extent on the skill possessed in handling numbers. Since, this skill can be used to misrepresent and distort the true position, it has to be concluded that in the absence of morality a good accountant is not a moral or ethical accountant.
The auditor’s duty is to ensure that accounting or the language of business is properly utilized so that the financial data is interpreted correctly. Moreover, the function of the independent auditor is that of a watchdog and the auditor has to ensure that the companys assessments are reasonable and not at variance with the reality. Further, these assessments are to be made on the basis of a consistent policy, which does not change over the years.
It is the duty of the external auditor to certify that the financial statement of a company fairly represents its financial position as such certifications are essential requirements for an efficient financial market. The spirit behind these functions has been seriously violated in recent years.