Accountability is an assurance that an individual or an organization will be evaluated on their performance or behavior related to something for which they are responsible. Although the term is related to responsibility it is seen more from the perspective of oversight. For example, the secretary may be responsible for making sure her response to a business request meets all the company’s requirements. In the event that the task is not performed satisfactorily, or in a timely manner, there may or may not be consequences. Accountability, on the other hand, means that the employee is held responsible for successfully completing the task and will have to at least explain why they failed to do it successfully.
Accountability also implies that an organization must be answerable for any deviations from its stated goals and values, which might be documented and made publicly available through a mission statement or visual statement. Beyond that, the concept of corporate accountability is often broadened to imply a requirement for business to follow ethical, responsible and sustainable practices.