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Article
Publication date: 23 March 2021

Alena Golyagina

Drawing on the semantic field theory, the paper aims to uncover the challenges of importing and translating a management accounting concept into the Russian language and…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the semantic field theory, the paper aims to uncover the challenges of importing and translating a management accounting concept into the Russian language and the semantic nature of resistance towards the imported management accounting concept.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the extensive literature review of the histories of accounting in the Soviet Union and the United States in the first part of the twentieth century and 17 interviews conducted with the Russian accounting academics.

Findings

We demonstrate the case of resistance in adopting the imported Anglo-Saxon management accounting concept. We also discuss historical underpinning and origins of this resistance in light of semantic field theory.

Research limitations/implications

The paper calls for more research in the non-Anglo-Saxon contexts problematizing conventional assumptions and beliefs about objectivity and universality of accounting language.

Practical implications

The study demonstrates the importance of understanding historical and cross-cultural developments of accounting language for accounting educators and practitioners. Critical awareness of the differences in semantic fields of accounting can help accounting researchers and educators to develop contextualized research projects and context-relevant teaching practices.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the literature on translations of accounting concepts by demonstrating that accounting concepts are not understood in isolation, instead, they are interpreted in relation to each other. The present study demonstrates that the relationship between the management accounting concept (the signifier) and its meanings (signifieds) is fluid, culturally and historically contingent. To understand this relationship, we should attend to the historical development of semantic fields and associative relations between concepts.

Details

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-1168

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 September 2020

Martin Quinn and Orla Feeney

This paper examines how accounting concepts were utilised in domestic waste collection services in Ireland over the past two decades or so. In comparison to other former…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines how accounting concepts were utilised in domestic waste collection services in Ireland over the past two decades or so. In comparison to other former “free” services in the Irish context, the prevalence of accounting concepts has been greater and delivered a more successful outcome.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the concepts of calculation, the “economic” and economization, events around domestic waste policy in Ireland are examined, and the increasing prevalence of concepts such as price, cost and profitability in these processes are a focal point. Publicly available documents such as government policy documents, parliamentary records and media reports are utilised to draw out these concepts. The period of analysis is 1996–2018.

Findings

The findings reveal the role of accounting concepts in the economization of domestic waste policy in Ireland. The result of the economization process was a fully privatised, profit-oriented, price-monitored system.

Research limitations/implications

This research provides a broad view of accounting concepts in the management of domestic waste. It highlights how waste policy in Ireland travelled through instances of being political and economic over time. The research is limited by its use of secondary data.

Originality/value

This study highlights how accounting concepts were used in varying ways to bring about a satisfactory solution to domestic waste disposal in Ireland, namely the privatisation of waste services.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Graeme Wines

This experimental study investigates the connotative (measured) meaning of the concept “auditor independence” within three audit engagement case contexts, including two…

Abstract

This experimental study investigates the connotative (measured) meaning of the concept “auditor independence” within three audit engagement case contexts, including two acknowledged in the literature to represent significant potential threats to independence. The study’s research design utilises the measurement of meaning (semantic differential) framework originally proposed by Osgood et al. (1957). Findings indicate that research participants considered the concept of independence within a two factor cognitive structure comprising “emphasis” and “variability” dimensions. Participants’ connotations of independence varied along both these dimensions in response to the alternative experimental case scenarios. In addition, participants’ perceptions of the auditor’s independence in the three cases were systematically associated with the identified connotative meaning dimensions.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 2 December 2013

Cătălin Nicolae Albu, Nadia Albu and David Alexander

The purpose of this chapter is to examine the transfer of a concept issued in one culture to a different setting, featuring different characteristics from the one in which…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to examine the transfer of a concept issued in one culture to a different setting, featuring different characteristics from the one in which the concept appeared.

Methodology/approach

Secondary data have been collected by analysing accounting regulations issued after the fall of communism with respect to true and fair view (TFV). Primary data have been collected by conducting eleven semi-structured interviews with representatives of major actors involved in the process of financial reporting. We have further developed and tested two research propositions.

Findings

We find that the perception of TFV in Romania depends firstly on the category of actors. Second, we find that merely including a rule or a concept in the regulations of a certain setting does not automatically mean that they will be applied de facto consistently with their original meaning, issued from a different setting.

Implications

We conclude that concept intertranslatability cannot be assumed under the circumstances investigated in our chapter, with immediate implications for other cases presupposing that concept transfer works, such as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Research limitations

The small number of interviews we have conducted may be viewed as a limitation of our study; however, special care was exercised when choosing interviewees, and they are key persons within their organizations, or representative of all the interested parties in the process of financial reporting in Romania.

Originality/value

We contribute to an increasing literature on accounting harmonization and applicability of global standards and concepts in local contexts.

Details

Accounting in Central and Eastern Europe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-939-3

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Understanding Mattessich and Ijiri: A Study of Accounting Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-841-3

Article
Publication date: 17 August 2020

Terje Berg and Dag Øivind Madsen

This paper aims to examine the historical evolution and popularity of activity-based thinking in management accounting. As an organising framework, this paper applies the…

1171

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the historical evolution and popularity of activity-based thinking in management accounting. As an organising framework, this paper applies the lens of management fashion theory, which is a perspective that is well suited to the examination of the lifecycles of management accounting concepts and ideas.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper pursues a bibliographic approach to better understand the past and present state of activity-based thinking. Thus, this paper attempts to piece together a mosaic picture by synthesising existing research on activity-based thinking from a wide range of academic and practitioner-oriented sources.

Findings

While the original activity-based costing (ABC) model has evolved and broadened and has generated new related concepts, studies suggest that it is not as successful as accounting concepts such as the balanced scorecard. The overall popularity trajectory of activity-based thinking can be considered to be negative, and it is currently not receiving much attention in accounting journals.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is based on desk research and is limited by a reliance on secondary sources. In addition, it may be subject to the authors’ own biases when it comes to defining relevant articles studied.

Practical implications

This paper provides more insight into the evolution and popularity of activity-based thinking and discusses some of the reasons why it is not more widely used in practice.

Originality/value

Although many studies have examined the diffusion of ABC-related techniques, most are quite dated. More than 30 years have passed since the coining of the ABC term, and the time is ripe to provide a historical re-examination of the impact of this type of thinking in the field of accounting and to consider the latest developments and trends.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 September 2020

Jenni Laaksonen

The purpose of this paper is to examine the concept of translation equivalence in extant research on translation in accounting: What is the equivalence that is expected of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the concept of translation equivalence in extant research on translation in accounting: What is the equivalence that is expected of translation, and how is it assumed to come into being? This paper presents a coherent, theoretically informed approach to how different views on equivalence are connected to the objective of international comparability in financial accounting and how related, often-underlying assumptions intertwine in this discussion.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper takes an interdisciplinary approach by utilizing equivalence theories from the discipline of translation studies. It canvasses two dichotomy-like approaches – natural versus directional equivalence and formal versus dynamic equivalence – to compose a theoretical framework within which to analyze 25 translation-related papers discussing accounting harmonization published from 1989 to 2018.

Findings

This paper presents evidence of theoretical contradictions likely to affect the development of translation research in accounting if they go unrecognized. Moreover, the analysis suggests that these contradictions are likely to originate in the assumptions of mainstream accounting research, which neglect both the constructed nature of equivalence and the socially constructed nature of accounting concepts.

Originality/value

Despite the significance of translation for the objective of international comparability, this paper is the first comprehensive theoretical approach to equivalence in accounting research. It responds to a recognized demand for studying equivalence and its limitations, challenges many of the expectations accounting research places on translation and discusses the possible origins of related assumptions.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 8 October 2018

David Alexander, Hélène de Brébisson, Cristina Circa, Eva Eberhartinger, Roberta Fasiello, Markus Grottke and Joanna Krasodomska

Accounting practices vary not only across firms, but also across countries, reflecting the respective legal and cultural background. Attempts at harmonization therefore…

3830

Abstract

Purpose

Accounting practices vary not only across firms, but also across countries, reflecting the respective legal and cultural background. Attempts at harmonization therefore continue to be rebuffed. The purpose of this paper is to argue that different wordings in national laws, and different interpretations of similar wordings in national laws, can be explained by taking recourse to the philosophy of language, referring particularly to Searle and Wittgenstein.

Design/methodology/approach

The example of the substance over form principle, investigated in seven countries, is particularly suitable for this analysis. It is known in all accounting jurisdictions, but still has very different roots in different European countries, with European and international influences conflicting, which is reflected in the different wording of the principle from one country to the next, and the different socially constructed realities associated with those wordings.

Findings

This paper shows that, beyond accounting practices, the legal and cultural background of a country affects the wording of national law itself. The broad conclusion is that different socially constructed realities might tend to resist any attempt at harmonized socially constructed words.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the debate surrounding the possible homogenization of accounting regulations, illustrating the theory of the social construction of both “reality” and “language” on the specific application of one common principle to various Member State environments.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2004

Lisa Evans

The use of technical terms to communicate accounting information can lead to misunderstandings when the meaning of such terms is not fully appreciated by the recipient of…

10045

Abstract

The use of technical terms to communicate accounting information can lead to misunderstandings when the meaning of such terms is not fully appreciated by the recipient of the information. The discipline of translation studies suggests that full equivalence in translation between languages is rare. This suggests that the risk of misunderstanding is exacerbated when technical terms are translated into another language. This paper examines the implications of mistranslations of technical terms in the context of theories from linguistics, which suggest that language influences the way we think. It uses three examples of accounting terminology to illustrate these problems. It concludes that the choice of an inappropriate label in the translation of accounting terminology is detrimental to international accounting communication and creates problems for users and preparers of translated financial statements as well as for researchers in, and students of, international accounting and for those involved in harmonisation and standardisation of accounting.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 15 October 2016

High significance for accounting objectives is evident from the support they provide for accounting actions. An inventory of these objectives could be very useful. In such…

Abstract

High significance for accounting objectives is evident from the support they provide for accounting actions. An inventory of these objectives could be very useful. In such an inventory, the integrity of all account data would be supported by tight identification with the consummated transaction experience of the related enterprise. But since enterprise economic activities are necessarily continuous, the results can only be made understandable by reporting account data periodically. Yet, this allocation to fiscal periods does not call for new measurement of the data. This is so because the center of accounting function is not measurement but that of reporting prior experience. This mistake has come about because of the emphasis on measurement as a function, which invites advocacy of using a “stabilized unit of measure.” This is a useful analytical technique for statistical economics, but it can only represent a revolutionary idea for accounting where the technical function is far more limited.

Details

A. C. Littleton’s Final Thoughts on Accounting: A Collection of Unpublished Essays
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-389-4

1 – 10 of over 137000