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Knowledge of Islamic accounting among professionals: evidence from the Tunisian context

Rym Ben Abd El Afou (Accounting Department, Gafsa University, Sfax, Tunisia)

Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research

ISSN: 1759-0817

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The paper is intended as an extension of the literature dealing with the Islamic accounting standards issued by the Accounting Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and still not adopted in Tunisia. Its major aim is to investigate the Tunisian accountants’ basic knowledge and perceptions of Islamic accounting. The study has been designed for the sake of the Tunisian accountants’ predisposition to adhere to the AAOIFI standards, as a population directly concerned by an eventual adoption of such standards.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opted for an exploratory study using a questionnaire survey based on the relevant literature. The questionnaire has included items pertaining to demographic areas, information sources, basic knowledge, key differences, valuation concepts, obstacles and advantages, educational and training needs regarding Islamic accounting. The conducted study has involved data collected from the part of 200 practitioners across a number of organizations and audit firms, sited at different regions and locations of the country, employing accounting graduates.

Findings

The reached findings suggest that even though Tunisian practitioners are not well aware of most of the AAOIFI standards’ pertaining topics, proponents of stand-alone AAOIFI standards, apart from IFRS, appear to outnumber its opponents. In this context, lack of training programs arranged by professional bodies is considered as the most serious impediment facing the implementation of the standards.

Research limitations/implications

In addition to the usual limitations associated with any survey research (particularly non-response bias and desirability bias), there, also, lies a sample related limitation, as the sample turns out to involve, essentially the private/corporate sector. Pertinent organizations, as the IFI’s, appear to be not well represented in the sample.

Practical implications

The results reached through this study would have some implications on the regulatory bodies, academicians and professionals. Thus, for the AAOIFI standards to be successfully implemented in Tunisia, entirety of concerned parties should take part in improving and consolidating the situation.

Social implications

Ultimately, studying differences in the views of jurisdictions, either those who have adopted the AAOIFI standards or those who have not, might provide certain guidelines to standard setters for potential revisions.

Originality/value

Few short articles have previously exanimate the perceptions and knowledge of accounting professionals on Islamic accounting issues, there is a scarcity of research regarding the subject. To the author’s knowledge, this paper is one of the rare studies of Islamic accounting in Tunisia.

Keywords

Citation

Ben Abd El Afou, R. (2017), "Knowledge of Islamic accounting among professionals: evidence from the Tunisian context", Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 304-325. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIABR-03-2015-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited