Accents don't have anything to do with making the note "sharp," they only are there to tell you to give the note emphasis.
A horizontal accent (>) tells you to make the note emphasized and full value.
A vertical accent (^) tells you to emphasize the note and make it shorter than normal.
Another kind of accent is a marcato which looks like a vertical accent with a little dot under it. When you see a marcato accent you should make the note "marked and seperated" or very short and very emphasized.