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A critical review of accounting standard setting and the role of Government from 1980 to 1990

Robert Day (Bournemouth University, Dorset, UK)

Journal of Applied Accounting Research

ISSN: 0967-5426

Article publication date: 1 November 2004



In the UK, the role of the state in accounting regulation has been ambivalent for some decades. On the one hand, confidence has been openly expressed in the system of private sector accounting regulation1 while accounting standards have been granted legitimacy through recognition in company law2. On the other hand government has introduced some detailed regulation through company law and has always been involved in both the institutions and processes of private sector regulation. This involvement has not necessarily been passive, and has often been covert leading to reports of threats of counter‐action by the government on some specific issues (Robson, 1988). Indeed, it is felt that fear of intervention by the government provides some of the rationale for private sector regulation (Bromwich, 1981, Sharp, 1971, Taylor and Turley, 1986). Providing a sharp contrast to the UK government’s actions towards the standard setting body, the sunshine policy of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in the US, means that governmental influence is overt whether in the area of a single issue or the future of the private sector standard setting (Beresford, 1993).



Day, R. (2004), "A critical review of accounting standard setting and the role of Government from 1980 to 1990", Journal of Applied Accounting Research, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 80-133.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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