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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2021

Prem W. Senarath Yapa

The purpose of this paper to systematically review and critique research on professional accounting development published in English during the last two-and-a-half…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper to systematically review and critique research on professional accounting development published in English during the last two-and-a-half decades. This paper focusses on developing countries (DCs) and suggests a future research agenda. In recent decades, many DCs have undergone reforms in the professionalisation of accounting (PA).

Design/methodology/approach

Extant research articles are selected from major accounting journals between 1995 and 2020 for the review. A conceptual analysis of the selected literature is presented to evaluate the focus and scope of existing work.

Findings

Previous empirical research on DCs has focused on the state and political ideology, religion and Sharia law, racial/class discrimination, colonialism and closure (e.g. the monopolisation of accounting work). Also, a complex set of globalisation, political, economic, and social contexts. In particular, a strong tradition of British accounting associations providing accounting qualifications in DCs is noted. Future research should aim to examine such issues as the politics of decolonisation, domination, neoliberalism, competition from Western professional associations, accounting in state-owned organisations, government accounting reforms, and social and environmental accounting issues.

Research limitations/implications

This paper covers only PA research in high-ranked English language accounting journals and chapters of a monograph. Accounting research published in other languages and lower-ranked journals could be imperative sources as well but not included in this study.

Originality/value

While PA has been explored in a variety of locations and from different perspectives in Western countries, a review in DCs was lacking.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2021

Onsa Akrout and Salma Damak Ayadi

The present work aimed to enhance the understanding of professional turnover intentions of accounting professionals by exploring their attitudes towards this phenomenon in…

Abstract

Purpose

The present work aimed to enhance the understanding of professional turnover intentions of accounting professionals by exploring their attitudes towards this phenomenon in an emerging economy (Tunisia).

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory research was conducted using a narrative approach (episodic interviewing) after having interviewed accounting professionals. Data were analysed with the thematic coding method using NVivo software based on the push-pull-mooring (PPM) framework. Based on this analysis, four types of professionals were identified.

Findings

The interconnections among PPM factors, which are different from one type of professionals to another, play a vital role in whether a professional intends to leave the accounting profession or not. All four types of professionals perceived unpleasant facets of the public practice environment (push factors) and manifested a tendency to switch to available job opportunities (pull factors). Nevertheless, the latitude for profession change, for the third and the fourth types who perceived the professional experience differently, is restricted by mooring factors. That is not the case for the first type of professionals who have already left public accounting and the second type who intend to quit the profession, as we did not find any mooring factors.

Research limitations/implications

This study explored the attitudes of accounting professionals towards professional turnover intention. A deeper insight into the views of the academics and the Ordre des Experts Comptables de Tunisie (OECT) might help understand this phenomenon.

Practical implications

Understanding the relative impact of push, pull and mooring allows the accounting professionals to determine their attitudes towards the intention to leave the profession. This enables firms to develop more effective programmes to retain valued accounting human resources. The findings highlight that the professional associations should promote the values the profession brings to the community through nationwide public awareness campaigns and enhance career opportunities by providing more branches of activity within the profession.

Originality/value

The paper responds to calls for further examination of factors behind professional turnover intention at a time when high rates of turnover were observed among accounting professionals. Also, the cultural context of Tunisia helps explain our findings.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2011

Andy Garcia and James C. Lampe

This chapter develops a model of professionalism via a synthesis of three extant theories from the sociology of the professions literature. Nine components or conditions…

Abstract

This chapter develops a model of professionalism via a synthesis of three extant theories from the sociology of the professions literature. Nine components or conditions of the model are used to trace the historical development of public accountancy through an Early Era from 1850 to 1929 and a Modern Era from 1930 to the mid-1980s. The conclusion is that concerted efforts over an approximate 130 year period were needed for accountancy to achieve elite professional status in the eyes of the U.S. public. The question remaining is if accountants have forgotten the history lessons on what has been required to achieve and sustain elite professional status?

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Abstract

Details

Advances in Accounting Education Teaching and Curriculum Innovations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-867-4

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Book part
Publication date: 18 July 2017

George Joseph

This paper presents an institutional theory framework integrating normative, regulatory and cognitive-cultural pillars (Scott, 2008) to depict an interinstitutional system…

Abstract

This paper presents an institutional theory framework integrating normative, regulatory and cognitive-cultural pillars (Scott, 2008) to depict an interinstitutional system within which professions operate and develop. The pillars highlight the trade-offs between institutions leading to conflicts of interest that also impact the stability of the system and the ability of the profession to self-regulate. To illustrate the framework, the paper uses selected accounting-based professions and their alignment with the institutional pillars. Drawing from examples emerging from the Enron experience, the paper delves more deeply into the regulatory profession and professionals as agents to explore implications of their role in interpreting and in some instances developing institutions. Further, the paper highlights the potential fissures that emerge in a competitive environment between the public interest and market-based cognitive-cultural pillars that tends to erode public trust and weaken the institutional system, leading to the need for increased regulation to maintain the stability of the pillars. Overall, the framework presents a unique perspective on the role of public interest as a component of the normative pillar in aligning and thereby, stabilizing the functioning of the interinstitutional system. This perspective provides a basis to contextualize and articulate a public interest perspective for the accounting profession in an interinstitutional system.

Details

Parables, Myths and Risks
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-534-4

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Article
Publication date: 9 June 2020

Delphine Gibassier, Sami El Omari and Philippe Naccache

Within the emergent professional field of carbon accounting, we analyse the institutional work that gives birth to a nascent profession in a multi-actor arena. We…

Abstract

Purpose

Within the emergent professional field of carbon accounting, we analyse the institutional work that gives birth to a nascent profession in a multi-actor arena. We therefore contribute to enhancing our understanding of the birth of professions – in their very first steps and infancy.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employs a qualitative approach. We collected data from 1999 to 2015 and conducted 15 semi-structured interviews. One of the researchers was active in the field for two years and participated in carbon accounting events in France as a “participant observer”.

Findings

Our research contributes to an understanding of the dynamic professionalization process in which the different actors mobilize both creative work and sabotage work. We further theorize how nascent professions structure their project around knowledge, identity and boundary work. At the same time, we develop the notion of sabotage work, which is comprised of two sub-categories of institutional work: counter-work and the absence of work.

Originality/value

To our knowledge, this is one of the first attempts to analyse the birth of an environmental accounting profession. We emphasize both creative work and sabotage work in the professionalization project. We conclude on further research that could be performed on environmental accounting professions.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2020

Helen Yee

This paper examines radical reform of the Chinese public accounting profession in the 1990s. In particular, the paper seeks to provide a more nuanced understanding of the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines radical reform of the Chinese public accounting profession in the 1990s. In particular, the paper seeks to provide a more nuanced understanding of the sources, responses and processes of this radical institutional change that effectively paved the way for development of the Chinese accounting profession into the twenty-first century.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical data that inform this study come from both archival materials (mostly in Chinese) and in-depth interviews. These data are analysed and interpreted from a neo-institutionalist perspective, drawing, in particular, on the concept of institutional logics and the concept of institutional work.

Findings

A state logic initially guided the development of the Chinese accounting profession but was seriously challenged in the 1990s following a series of high profile financial scandals. The findings reveal a shift to a new professional logic, which was made possible through multiple forms of institutional works instigated by various state actors.

Originality/value

Research into the radical reform of the Chinese public accounting profession in the 1990s was mostly quantitative in nature, focussing mainly on one reform programme, i.e. the disaffiliation of the accounting firms from their sponsoring agencies. This paper adopts a qualitative approach and is aimed at providing a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the institutional change process within its political and economic contexts.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 2 April 2019

Elmarie Sadler and Jacobus Stephanus Wessels

The purpose of this paper is to report on the reflective identity work of a white female chartered accountant, scholar and academic manager, regarding the intersectional…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on the reflective identity work of a white female chartered accountant, scholar and academic manager, regarding the intersectional transformations of gender and race as well as leadership within the South African accounting profession over four decades.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical lens of intersectionality is applied through an autoethnographic approach. Multiple layers of personal experiences and observations are interpreted through identity work of leadership provided and received. Autoethnographic data are substantiated and contextualised through the researchers’ sense-making, official and scholarly sources.

Findings

Sustainable transformation of the accounting profession requires a deepened understanding of the interconnections of the personal, structural and systemic areas within unique contexts. Leadership, as provided and received, must be included within the intersectional orientations. Intersectional orientations become then more significant for understanding progressive changes of the demographic profile of the accounting profession not only in South Africa but also in other countries. The transformation interventions aimed at affirming high-quality black African, coloured and female candidates to the South African accounting profession are founded on the principles of social justice. A sustained reframing of the demographic profile of a profession is possible through accelerated and well-funded collaborative transformation interventions enhancing intentional structural changes of the membership pipeline.

Research limitations/implications

The possible limitations of this study lie in the contextual nature of the material and findings and the lens of the specific theory.

Practical implications

The understanding of the practice of interventions aiming at transforming the country-specific demographic profile of a scarce skills profession such as the accountancy profession.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper lies in the application of an intersectional theoretical lens that argues for leadership as a dimension alongside age, gender and race in an autoethnographic sense making of the transformation of the South African accounting profession.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Femi Oladele

The purpose of this paper is to assess Nigerian students’ level of awareness of the tripartite accounting (TA), unmask the ills of the propaganda for professional practice…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess Nigerian students’ level of awareness of the tripartite accounting (TA), unmask the ills of the propaganda for professional practice as the core of the accounting profession and emphasise the TA. Awareness of the fact that the frontiers of accounting is increasingly expanding beyond professional practice is inchoate in Nigeria. The role of accounting extends further to research and policy formulations for governments and corporate organisations, as it assumes a multi-dimensional sine qua non for reporting, budgeting and budgetary control, environmental impact measurement, forensics and other socio-political and economic policy measures.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were administered to 100 final-year students from the Department of Accounting in Bowen University, Iwo.

Findings

There is unilateral stereotype of the profession always tending to practice as the core of the accounting profession; there is little awareness of the benefits of undertaking research and/or policy-based accounting, limiting students’ focus to becoming only professional practitioners, which results in low number of senior academics in the field of Accounting evident in most tertiary institutions and the evident inadequacies of Nigeria’s standards-setting and policy-making systems and mechanisms.

Originality/value

Tertiary institutions should be the “place of orientation” for the TA, nurturing and developing students’ interest, hence, the strong proposal for balancing TA through clamour for institutional interrelationship to ensure effectiveness, efficiency, progress and sustainability of the profession.

Details

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1985-2517

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2010

Tracey McDowall and Beverley Jackling

This paper aims to examine undergraduate students' attitudes towards the accounting profession, including accounting as a career, as a discipline, as a profession and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine undergraduate students' attitudes towards the accounting profession, including accounting as a career, as a discipline, as a profession and perceptions of the work activities of accountants.

Design/methodology/approach

The data set used in this paper was collected via questionnaires. The present study compares several aspects of a prior study of Marriott and Marriott using the Accounting Attitude Scale developed by Nelson.

Findings

Overall, the paper supports the view that exposure to accounting at university does not enhance positive attitudes about accounting as a discipline, but reinforces rule‐memorisation, and lack of involvement with conceptual skills or judgement.

Research limitations/implications

The paper only examines students' attitudes at one point in time and does not attempt to identify whether students' attitudes change over the period of their study. The paper can only speculate as to why there is a difference between local and international students' attitude towards the accounting profession. Third, the questionnaire is only administered at one institution. There is a scope to extend this study across institutions as well as conduct a longitudinal study. In order to validate the findings, further research via in‐depth interviews with students may help determine the factors that influence students' attitudes.

Originality/value

The results from this paper are expected to contribute to the body of research by providing accounting educators with insights into how the curriculum may influence students' attitudes towards the profession, together with implications as to how the profession should be promoted to undergraduate students.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

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