Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Accountability

Quick Summary of Accountability

Accountability is the obligation to give an account.

What is the dictionary definition of Accountability?

Dictionary Definition

  1. The state of being accountable; liability to be called on to render an account; accountableness; responsible for; answerable for.
  2. military The obligation imposed by law or lawful order or regulation on an officer or another person for keeping an accurate record of property, documents, or funds. The person having this obligation may or may not have actual possession of the property, documents, or funds. Accountability is concerned primarily with records, while responsibility is concerned primarily with custody, care, and safekeeping.

Full Definition of Accountability

Accountability is the obligation to give an account. For limited companies, it’s assumed that the company directors are accountable to its shareholders and that this responsibility is discharged, in part, by the directors’ provision of an annual report and accounts.

In any accountability relationship, there will always be at least one principal and at least one agent.

Synonyms For Accountability

responsibility, liability, accountable, responsible, responsibilities

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Accountability. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. October 25, 2021
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Accountability. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: October 25, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Accountability. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Accountability are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 6th January, 2020 | 27 Views.