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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1997

Michael John Jones

The cloze procedure has been seen by accounting researchers as a useful tool for investigating the communicative effectiveness of accounting narratives. Compared with…

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1216

Abstract

The cloze procedure has been seen by accounting researchers as a useful tool for investigating the communicative effectiveness of accounting narratives. Compared with text‐based readability measures, such as the Flesch test, the cloze procedure has often been viewed as an alternative and superior method of measuring understandability. Provides a critical review of the accounting and educational cloze‐based literature. In particular, questions the validity of the cloze procedure, the cloze procedure’s measurement of understandability, and the correctness of the criterion reference scores traditionally used to interpret cloze scores. Concludes that these legitimate concerns about the cloze procedure must be taken into account when the results of cloze‐based accounting research studies are evaluated. Repeats calls for further research to establish the validity of the cloze procedure in the accounting domain and to support the results of existing studies.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2001

Abu Shiraz Rahaman and Stewart Lawrence

Just over two decades ago, Hopwood criticised accounting researchers for how little they knew of the actual functioning of accounting in organisational contexts. Recently…

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3434

Abstract

Just over two decades ago, Hopwood criticised accounting researchers for how little they knew of the actual functioning of accounting in organisational contexts. Recently, Parker and Roffey reminded us that this is still the case. A new wave of critical and interpretive researchers have not been able to ground their theorising in the actual practice of accounting. This paper attempts to explicate the negotiated order perspective as a social theory that may help to better understand accounting in its organisational context. The paper not only presents the theoretical constructs of the negotiated order perspective but also a case (Volta River Authority) illustration of how the perspective could help in appreciating accounting practice within organisations and society.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1999

Rocco R. Vanasco

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977 and its amendment – the Trade and Competitive Act of 1988 – are unique not only in the history of the accounting and…

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3867

Abstract

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977 and its amendment – the Trade and Competitive Act of 1988 – are unique not only in the history of the accounting and auditing profession, but also in international law. The Acts raised awareness of the need for efficient and adequate internal control systems to prevent illegal acts such as the bribery of foreign officials, political parties and governments to secure or maintain contracts overseas. Its uniqueness is also due to the fact that the USA is the first country to pioneer such a legislation that impacted foreign trade, international law and codes of ethics. The research traces the history of the FCPA before and after its enactment, the role played by the various branches of the United States Government – Congress, Department of Justice, Securities Exchange commission (SEC), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); the contributions made by professional associations such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICFA), the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), the American Bar Association (ABA); and, finally, the role played by various international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). A cultural, ethical and legalistic background will give a better understanding of the FCPA as wll as the rationale for its controversy.

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Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 14 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2015

Sharron O'Neill, Geoff McDonald and Craig Michael Deegan

The purpose of this paper is to seek to extend the work of Robson (1991, 1992) by exploring the accounting implications of the way in which subsets of non-financial…

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1322

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to seek to extend the work of Robson (1991, 1992) by exploring the accounting implications of the way in which subsets of non-financial accounting numbers are constructed. In particular, the study investigates whether the different procedures for organising subsets of a set of accounting data may lead to different conclusions about (the same) reality.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analysis focuses on the procedures by which organisations translate work-related injury outcomes to accounting numbers. First, existing procedures are problematised within their institutional context. This highlights complementary elements of translation and neo-institutional theory that together explain how institutional factors might operate to constrain the problematising process. An empirical analysis of workers’ compensation data covering a ten year period is then conducted to calculate and contrast performance using two competing logics of accounting for injury.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that different representations of reality may result not only from accounting choices as to “what” is measured, but also from accounting choices as to “how subsets of measured data are organised”. Specifically, different ways of organising injury data into subsets led to different representations of the reality of overall injury performance. The evidence further suggests taken-for-granted assumptions and institutionalised practices may prevent adequate problematisation of the underpinning logic that guides the procedures for organising translations of work-related injury and illness to accounting numbers.

Practical implications

The results suggest the existing logic of accounting for injury fails to recognise the financial or non-financial complexity of non-fatal injury outcomes. “Lost time injury” measures are revealed as neither valid nor reliable measures of injury (or safety) and therefore inappropriate for informing the occupational health and safety (OHS) decisions of managers, boards and external stakeholders. These findings reveal an urgent need for change in injury accounting practice and, in turn, raise serious concerns about the increasingly institutionalised global template for external disclosure of OHS performance information.

Originality/value

This paper takes a novel look at the construction of social performance measures and suggests further attention to the construction of accounting subsets is warranted. In demonstrating serious problems in accounting logic that underpin existing, and deeply institutionalised, measurement and reporting practices, the findings reinforce the need to routinely re-problematise accounting practices. Failure to critically review those accounting translations that underpin decision-making may prove a fatal mistake.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Brendan O'Dwyer and Mary Canning

The purpose of this paper is to examine the operation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland's (ICAI) complaint process from the complainant's perspective…

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1972

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the operation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland's (ICAI) complaint process from the complainant's perspective. The findings are interpreted drawing on key elements of Parker's private interest model of professional accounting ethics, particularly the private interest roles of professional authority and professional insulation.

Design/methodology/approach

The primary evidence used is drawn from numerous sources. These include: extensive “private” documentation comprising original correspondence between the complainant in the case examined (or his advisors) and various representatives of the ICAI spanning a five‐year period; detailed supporting documentation included with this correspondence; Independent Experts' Reports on the complaints submitted; and in‐depth interviews with the complainant prior to, during, and post the examination of the documentary evidence.

Findings

The paper reveals how high levels of professional authority and professional insulation worked in tandem to prevent complaints entering the complaint process and deny the complainant reasons for decisions taken. It demonstrates how a key structural barrier in the complaint process, the screening role of the professional accounting body's secretary, created a complainant impression of a process concerned primarily with protecting members' interests. Subsequent to complaint process changes, an erosion of professional insulation is unveiled. However, this proves fleeting and, in response to persistent complainant challenges to heightened demonstrations of professional authority, the degree of professional insulation intensifies further.

Research limitations/implications

The paper focuses on a specific case where the complainant was dissatisfied with the ICAI's procedures. It reveals the extent to which complainants using professional body complaints procedures may, often by virtue of the structures in place, feel that profession protection motives are overriding purported concerns for society protection.

Originality/value

The paper extends and advances the literature examining professional accounting body disciplinary and complaint procedures. Prior research investigating the operation of these procedures has neglected to examine complaint processes in depth to inform their evaluations, particularly from the perspective of potential users of these processes.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2019

Brian A. Rutherford

The received wisdom on classical accounting thought is that its early stages were methodologically vacuous, while, in its “golden” age, it espoused the methods and…

Abstract

Purpose

The received wisdom on classical accounting thought is that its early stages were methodologically vacuous, while, in its “golden” age, it espoused the methods and philosophical commitments of received-view hypothetico-deductivism but actually remained methodologically incoherent. The purpose of this paper is to argue, to the contrary, that classical accounting thought possesses a coherent constitutional structure that qualifies as a methodology and unifies it as a body of argument.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on Cartwright’s metaphysical nomological pluralism, which holds that we should attend to the actual practices of successful inquiry and the methodologies and metaphysical presuppositions that support it.

Findings

The paper argues that accounting does achieve disciplinary success and that classical accounting thought, using the methodology of defeasible postulationism, provides the theoretical infrastructure that supports that success. The accounting domain is a world of “dappled realism”, in which theories are useful in the construction of reporting schemes and inform our understanding of the nature of the domain.

Research limitations/implications

Applying metaphysical nomological pluralism rescues classical accounting thought from the charge of methodological incoherence and metaphysical naivety.

Originality/value

The paper justifies a place for classical accounting theorising in the endeavours of modern accounting scholarship and moves the analysis of classical accounting thought within a philosophy of science framework towards an approach with a contemporary resonance.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Abstract

Details

Advances in Accounting Education Teaching and Curriculum Innovations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-758-6

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Richard K. Fleischman, David Oldroyd and Thomas N. Tyson

The aim of this paper is to focus on the transition from slavery to wage workers in the American South and British West Indies, and the corresponding nature of the…

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1640

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to focus on the transition from slavery to wage workers in the American South and British West Indies, and the corresponding nature of the reporting and control procedures that were established in both venues, in order to create a disciplined workforce, and establish regular relations between employees and employers. It seeks to explain the differences in labour control practices between the two regions and to discuss the impact on these practices of accounting and other quantitative techniques c.1760-1870. In particular, it aims to consider the central role played by government in the process.

Design/methodology/approach

The study forms part of an archival research project, in which the authors have consulted archives in four Southern States (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Carolina), three Caribbean island nations, formerly British colonies (Antigua, Barbados, and Jamaica), and record repositories the length and breadth of Great Britain. The records of the Freedmen ' s Bureau (FB), located in the National Archives, Washington, DC, have been likewise visited. These primary sources have been supported by the extensive secondary literature on slavery and its aftermath.

Findings

In the USA, accounting for labour in the transition from slavery was typically ad hoc and inconsistent, whereas in the BWI it was more organised, detailed, and displayed greater uniformity – both within and across colonies. The role of the British Colonial Office (BCO) was crucial here. A range of economic and political factors are advanced to explain the differences between the two locations. The paper highlights the limitations of accounting controls and economic incentives in disciplining labour without the presence of physical coercion in situations where there is a refusal on the part of the workers to cooperate.

Originality/value

There is a relatively small volume of secondary literature comparing US and BWI slavery and its legacy. Likewise, the accounting implications of labour-control practices, during the transition from slavery to freedom, are largely understudied. The research also points to a need to assess the decision-influencing capabilities of management accounting systems in other transitional labour settings.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

John Richard Edwards, Trevor Boyns and Mark Matthews

The use of accounting to help apply the principles of scientific management to business affairs is associated with the adoption of standard costing and budgetary control…

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7643

Abstract

The use of accounting to help apply the principles of scientific management to business affairs is associated with the adoption of standard costing and budgetary control. This first British industry‐based study of the implementation of these calculative techniques makes use of the case study research tool to interrogate archival data relating to leading iron and steel companies. We demonstrate the adoption of standard costing and budgetary control early on (during the inter‐war period) by a single economic unit, United Steel Companies Ltd, where innovation is attributed to the engineering and scientific background and US experiences of key personnel. Elsewhere, significant management accounting change occurred only with the collapse in iron and steel corporate profitability that began to become apparent in the late 1950s. The process of accounting change is addressed and the significance for our study of the notions of evolution and historical discontinuity is examined. The paper is contextualised through an assessment of initiatives from industry‐based regulatory bodies and consideration of the economic circumstances and business conditions within which management accounting practices were the subject of radical revision.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 1 November 2018

Abstract

Details

William A. Paton: A Study of his Accounting Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-408-4

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