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Eva Heidhues and Chris Patel

Over the last decade, international accounting harmonization and convergence and the increasing adoption of IFRS as national standards have become dominant topics in…

Abstract

Over the last decade, international accounting harmonization and convergence and the increasing adoption of IFRS as national standards have become dominant topics in international accounting research (Alp & Ustundag, 2009; Ashbaugh & Pincus, 2001; Cairns, Massoudi, Taplin, & Tarca, 2011; Christensen et al., 2007; Daske, 2006; Daske & Gebhardt, 2006; Daske et al., 2008; Ding et al., 2007; Gastón, García, Jarne, & Laínez Gadea, 2010; Haverals, 2007; Hellmann, Perera, & Patel, 2010; Lantto & Sahlström, 2008; Othman & Zeghal, 2006; Peng & van der Laan Smith, 2010; Schleicher, Tahoun, & Walker, 2010; Tyrrall et al., 2007). In this move toward convergence, the politics associated with IAS setting by the IASB has become an important and controversial topic in international accounting research. Although previous studies have aimed to examine political issues and stakeholder's perception toward the standard-setting process of the IASB (Alali & Cao, 2010; Chiapello & Medjad, 2009; de Lange & Howieson, 2006), no study has critically examined the complexity of factors influencing attitudes and public opinion toward this standard-setting process. Given that attitudes are likely to guide behavior and lead stakeholders to either advance the work of the IASB or create obstacles, it is timely and relevant to analyze attitudes toward this issue. A recent study has provided evidence that stakeholders’ acceptance of IFRS and preparers’ overall perception of IFRS may influence compliance and the quality of financial reports (Navarro-García & Bastida, 2010). As such, it is the objective of this chapter to provide insights into determinants of attitudes toward the IASB's standard setting and critically examine the influence of power structures and perceived legitimacy on individual attitudes and public opinion.1 Specifically, this study examines German attitudes toward the promotion of professional judgment by the IASB since the adoption of IFRS in the EU in 2005.

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Globalization and Contextual Factors in Accounting: The Case of Germany
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-245-6

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Article

Selvaraj D. Susela

This paper offers insights into the conflicts and tensions within the Malaysian accounting profession and the power struggle therein to dominate the accounting standard

Abstract

This paper offers insights into the conflicts and tensions within the Malaysian accounting profession and the power struggle therein to dominate the accounting standard setting process, within the context of a rapidly developing country. It shows how interest groups and parochial interests, along with issues of self‐protection, affected the process of standard setting, which was controlled by different interests over the period under study. At one time the profession dominated. But far from being a monolithic body, it was in turn split according to various interests: the Big Six behind the Malaysian Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA) and the smaller firms behind the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA). At other times big business prevailed. These conflicts and power struggles are revealed through an analysis of the case of the Goodwill Accounting Standard.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article

Timothy J. Fogarty, Mohamed E.A. Hussein and J. Edward Ketz

Discussion about the actual nature of political action is unusual in theliterature about the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).Examines the treatment of politics…

Abstract

Discussion about the actual nature of political action is unusual in the literature about the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Examines the treatment of politics in the US standard setting context and this analysis results in the conclusion that despite widespread recognition that standard setting is political, what this means is greatly underappreciated. Moving knowledge about financial accounting policy towards a more adequate realization of its political nature is furthered by a discussion of the roles of power, ideology and rhetoric.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article

Robert Day

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…

Abstract

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).

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Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article

Sebastian Botzem

The last four decades have seen the rise of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) as the core locus of transnational accounting regulation. Initial steps of…

Abstract

Purpose

The last four decades have seen the rise of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) as the core locus of transnational accounting regulation. Initial steps of associational cooperation were superseded by establishing a standard setting organization that heavily draws on consultation procedures. The purpose of this paper is to focus on recent changes in governance and accountability of IASB in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Emphasis is given to the organizational configuration, the ambivalence of consultation procedures and reactions to mounting criticism after the crisis. The paper proposes that IASB is the heart of a new transnational regulatory constellation in accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

The material and analysis presented in the paper derives from an extensive review of official reports, consultation documents and related responses and a range of additional information available on IASB's web page.

Findings

The paper analyzes how IASB uses legitimation strategies to defend its position as a transnational standard setter. From analysis of recent changes, the paper reveals a growing reliance on – and domination through – consultation procedures. The paper also shows the IASB’S swift action to counter substantial criticism emerging with the financial crisis.

Practical implications

By highlighting developments surrounding IASB, its governance structure and the emphasis on consultation, the paper establishes the importance for public policy of further study and debate the operation of IASB. It could also contribute to re-politicize accounting regulation at the transnational level.

Originality/value

IASB is an integral player in global financial governance processes and is only recently receiving substantial academic accounting research. This paper seeks to provide an introduction and critical account of the organization's development.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article

Linda Kidwell and Suzanne Lowensohn

Accounting standards are issued only after a comprehensive due process, which includes opportunities for external constituents to participate via public hearings and…

Abstract

Purpose

Accounting standards are issued only after a comprehensive due process, which includes opportunities for external constituents to participate via public hearings and comment letters. The purpose of this paper is to identify stakeholders unique to government and evaluate the extent to which they respond to 13 due process documents issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). The results provide insight into the comment letter element of due process – who participates, in what way do they participate, and why do they participate?

Design/methodology/approach

Comment letters received by the GASB in response to eleven exposure drafts and three preliminary views (PV) documents from 2010-2013 were examined, and respondents were categorized according to Cheng’s (1994) model as modified by Kidwell and Lowensohn (2011), resulting in the following 16 participant types: academics, budget officers, bureaucratic managers, state auditors/controllers, citizens, financial markets, elected officials, external auditors/CPA firms, finance officers, government accountants, government auditors, interest groups, media, professional associations, standard setters, and other governments. The authors next examined responses in favor of and opposed to for each document by group and responses by stakeholder group over time.

Findings

The authors find that participants came from various stakeholder groups. Consistent with findings in different standard-setting environments, the primary financial statement preparers – finance officers – were the most frequent individual respondents; however, there was participation from a wide variety of stakeholders. Responses are generally constructive and relatively consistent in their balance of favorable and unfavorable feedback over time, with a few exceptions. Closer examination of comment letters in response to the financial projections PV document reveals both conceptual and practical considerations underlying respondent participation.

Research limitations/implications

Motivations for participation were discerned from the letter content, but direct data on motivation was not measured, limiting the conclusions to apparent motivation. Future research might examine the extent to which comment letter content is incorporated into the basis of conclusions section of issued standards to assess the direct impact of comment letters on the governmental accounting standard-setting process. It would also be relevant to trace specific projects that advanced from a PV stage to the exposure draft stage to assess whether the proportional participation of these stakeholder groups is different throughout due process.

Practical implications

The GASB has long been receptive to constituent feedback (Lowensohn, 2000) and can glean useful input from comment letters. By closely examining arguments impounded within comment letters, including conceptual and practical considerations, and by utilizing a more delineated understanding of the stakeholders in governmental accounting standard setting, the Board can better forge into the future.

Originality/value

Much of the extant research documents that stakeholder participation is relatively low, given the number of parties affected by accounting standards. Prior research into both public and private sector accounting standard setting in the USA and abroad has not used all unique actors specific to the public sector. Using a comprehensive stakeholder model designed for the governmental environment, the authors examine who participates in the GASB comment letter process, assess the nature of GASB comment letter participant responses, determine whether relative participation by stakeholder group is relatively constant over time, and consider why the participants respond.

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Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article

Lisa Baudot

The purpose of this paper is to add to the literature on accounting change in explaining a decade-long effort by the FASB and IASB to develop a set of global accounting

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to add to the literature on accounting change in explaining a decade-long effort by the FASB and IASB to develop a set of global accounting standards accepted by markets worldwide. This research studies the effort as one of “convergence” in accounting standards and aims to bring theoretical and empirical clarity as to how we can conceptualize the notion of convergence.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a longitudinal study of 23 key FASB-IASB projects undertaken between 2002 and 2011, this paper analyzes processes of accounting change using a blend of institutional theory and political economy. A process perspective provides a method to unfold variants of accounting change by identifying patterns that help us to understand the conditions for and characteristics of convergence.

Findings

The author highlights specific variants of accounting change observed during the convergence effort – direct emulation, difference reduction and progressive redesign – as analogous to institutional processes. Where direct emulation and difference reduction reflect institutional processes of imitation and editing or translation, respectively, the author shows how progressive redesign of accounting standards goes beyond these classical categorizations to encompass the notion of “institutional co-construction” (Djelic, 2008).

Research limitations/implications

A longer (shorter) period of study and a greater (lesser) number of projects could be argued for a more comprehensive (more detailed) study; however, limiting the period and project to the terms of the formal convergence program allows for forces driving this particular process to be isolated and their effects extrapolated to broader thinking on accounting and global regulation.

Originality/value

This research informs the global standard-setting community of the evolution of convergence and the factors which impact that evolution by revealing the influence of various institutions, actors and events over time. In particular, the author identifies the impact of the competitive and cooperative conditions under which the FASB-IASB convergence effort operated and reveal how these conditions were influenced by the macro-level economic and political developments occurring over the period.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article

Sylvain Durocher and Anne Fortin

The objective of this paper is to critically examine the Canadian Accounting Standards Board's (AcSB) legitimacy management strategies directed toward financial statement users.

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to critically examine the Canadian Accounting Standards Board's (AcSB) legitimacy management strategies directed toward financial statement users.

Design/methodology/approach

Suchman's legitimacy typology is used as a lens through which the AcSB's legitimacy management strategies directed toward users are analyzed. The data sources consist of documentary public information available for the overall Canadian standardsetting process and for a sample of standardsetting projects.

Findings

The results indicate that the AcSB devotes much more efforts to symbolic features and cultural accounts than to pragmatic concerns to ensure its legitimacy toward financial statement users. The legitimacy management strategies used mimic those in the USA and at the international level. Such an isomorphism contributes to the AcSB's cognitive legitimacy and overall cultural legitimacy.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could assess a standardsetting institution legitimacy management strategies directed to other audiences such as preparers, auditors, or other groups that fall under a broader public interest umbrella.

Practical implications

The results provide Canadian users with a general picture of the AcSB's efforts in their regard and invite them to be sceptical and critical about the so‐called user perspective in standard setting. It also provides standard setters with a legitimacy framework that they can use to identify areas for improvement to enhance users' view of their legitimacy and to help them better fulfil their mission statement.

Originality/value

This paper innovates by studying a standardsetting institution legitimacy management strategies directed toward a specific audience, financial statement users.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Abstract

Details

More Accounting Changes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-629-1

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Abstract

Details

More Accounting Changes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-629-1

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