- The condition of being responsible for an action, *asset, *entity, *procedure, or *process. Individuals with accountability are usually required to justify their actions or decisions in the areas they monitor or safeguard. Modern *corporate governance is dedicated to defining organizational accountability, and to establishing suitable mechanisms for its enforcement and reporting. A *board of directors effects a large part of its accountability for *stewardship of a corporation to investors and other *stakeholders through the mechanism of published *financial statements. It is sometimes noted that chains of accountability generally run upward through organizational structures, in contrast to chains of delegation of authority, which tend to run downward. *Audits are often depicted as central to accountability: auditing has been described as a means of "securing the accountability of individuals and organisations" (Flint, 1988, 3), and it has been claimed that ‘Without audit, no accountability; without accountability, no *control; and if there is no control, where is the seat of power?... great issues often come to light only because of scrupulous *verification of details" (W. J .M MacKenzie, foreword to Normanton, 1966). See also *agency theory.
Auditor's dictionary. 2014.