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In general, accountability is the willingness to be held to agreed-upon standards. To be "held accountable" for one's judgments and actions is the mark of a professional.

Established experts have historically had a tendency to use their mantle of expertise to "define" the truth, resisting efforts by outsiders to compare their notions or theories to reality (see History of science).

Financial accountability

In finance, accountability is the degree to which it is ensured that an organization's monies are collected and disbursed properly, and that an audit trail is kept of all transactions. Under some budgeting processes and systems, every budgeted dollar is associated with a responsibility center and a designated manager accountable for the monitoring of expenditures and revenues.

Christian accountability

In some Christian groups, a person (usually a man) is encouraged to have an "accountability partner", in order to resist temptations to fall into sin (especially sexual sins such as adultery or pornography).

See also