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Book part
Publication date: 15 December 2011

Guangyou Liu and Hong Ren

Purpose – The paper presents a content analysis of the 2009 Exposure Draft of Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants in China. It aims to investigate how equivalently…

Abstract

Purpose – The paper presents a content analysis of the 2009 Exposure Draft of Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants in China. It aims to investigate how equivalently the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CICPA) adopts the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Code with certain adjustments due to specific national circumstances. The investigation is intended to highlight the principles-based conceptual framework approach to settlement of ethical standards and regulation for professional conduct.

Design/Methodology/Approach – Regarding the codes of ethics for professional accountants as a genre of discourse text, this paper applies a content analysis method to the investigation of how the newly revised Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants in China adopts the IFAC Code of the same type. Both semantic content and presentation format are considered in the content analysis.

Findings – This study puts forward the argument that even though CICPA claims to have equivalently adopted the principles-based conceptual framework of the IFAC ethical codification, the rigid legalistic presentation format might, however, deviate from the newly revised codification of CICPA from ethical principles to regulatory rules. Our findings prove a practical and nation-specific form of combining direct import and legal enhancement at a time when the Chinese accounting profession is on its way to converging with the IFAC Code of Ethics.

Research limitations/Implications – One limitation of the current study is the lack of information about the motivation of CICPA in adopting the principles-based conceptual framework approach to ethical codification, besides the pragmatic needs of global economic and business environments. Also, the current study focuses its comparison on IFAC and CICPA, without limited consideration of differences in cultural traits.

Practical implications – Content analysis results and conclusions of the study might render pragmatic the implications for future adoptions of the IFAC Code by various national or regional professional bodies.

Originality/Value – This paper proposes a content analysis, in terms of semantic units and legislative formats in ethical codification documents, to identify the principles-based conceptual framework approach in the IFAC and CICPA codes of ethics.

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2005

Sue Malthus and Carolyn Fowler

During the 1990s the value to an intending professional accountant of undertaking a period of liberal (general) studies was promoted internationally by a number of…

Abstract

During the 1990s the value to an intending professional accountant of undertaking a period of liberal (general) studies was promoted internationally by a number of individuals and organisations, including the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (the “Institute”). The Institute significantly changed its admissions policy for Chartered Accountants in 1996 and one change was to require four years of degree level study with a compulsory liberal studies component. This study surveys the perceptions of New Zealand accounting practitioners on the impact of this compulsory liberal component. The results of this study demonstrate that there is little support from accounting practitioners for IFAC’s claim that liberal education “can contribute significantly to the acquisition of professional skills”, including intellectual, personal and communication skills. In addition, the majority of respondents did not perceive any improvements in the professional skills of the staff that had qualified under the Institute’s current admissions policy. However, any perceived improvements were mainly attributed to the Institute’s admissions policy change. Notwithstanding the lack of support for the assertion that liberal education develops professional skills, there is a strong belief by respondents in the value of liberal education for intending professional accountants.

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Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Anne Loft, Christopher Humphrey and Stuart Turley

IFAC, a Swiss‐registered non‐governmental organization, is emerging as an important international (auditing) standard setter amongst a powerful group of regulators…

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Abstract

Purpose

IFAC, a Swiss‐registered non‐governmental organization, is emerging as an important international (auditing) standard setter amongst a powerful group of regulators, including the World Bank, the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the European Commission (EC). The purpose of this paper is to focus on the changing governance and accountability structures within IFAC, the way such changes are shaping, or re‐shaping, its “public interest” commitments and the resulting strategic implications for processes of auditor regulation and public oversight in the global financial arena.

Design/methodology/approach

The material and analysis presented in the paper derives from an extensive review of official reports, consultation documents and related responses, a range of other information available on IFAC's web site (www.ifac.org) or those of other key regulatory players in the global financial arena.

Findings

The paper analyzes how IFAC is succeeding as an international standard setter with an established place in the global financial infrastructure. From analysis of the recent establishment of a Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB) and the changing nature of representation on IFAC's Public Interest Activity Committees (PIACs), the paper reveals a growing reliance on governance by experts together with a growth in influence of the large, multinational accounting firms. Governance of auditors has become a matter of global importance and governance structures are being reconfigured.

Practical implications

By highlighting the changes that have taken place within IFAC's governance system, the paper establishes the importance for public policy of further study and debate concerning the nature and practical operation of such a system, particularly given IFAC's position within a complex but developing global governance arena.

Originality/value

IFAC is becoming an integral player in global financial governance processes and yet has not been subject to any substantial academic accounting research. This paper seeks to rectify this by focusing on the structures and processes underpinning both the development of IFAC's International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) and its own global strategy for advancement.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 9 October 2006

Stephen E. Loeb

Abstract

Details

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-367-9

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

P.L. Wessels

Information technology can be seen as one of the key drivers in a changing business environment as it is integrated into almost all aspects of business. All the research…

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1979

Abstract

Information technology can be seen as one of the key drivers in a changing business environment as it is integrated into almost all aspects of business. All the research investigating the skills and abilities that a professional accountant will need in future emphasises the importance of understanding and being competent in the use of information technology. Whether professional accountants function as financial managers within a specific organisation, act as independent evaluators of an organisation, financial information and systems, or act as consultants advising organisations, they will have to interact with and be knowledgeable about information technology to enable them to perform their jobs competently. The purpose of this article is to identify which information and communication technology (ICT) skills are critical for professional accountants who wish to be competent in the current and future working environment. A literature review was conducted of research by various professional accountancy bodies and other stakeholders to determine: the competence that future professional accountants will need; and the impact of the changing environment on the curricula set by professional accounting bodies. The article concludes with a description of the ICT skills required by professional accountants in order to be competent in today’s work environment. The article concludes with a discussion of the ICT skills that professional accountants must be competent in using.

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Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1022-2529

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2017

Andrew West

The purpose of this paper is to examine how Aristotle’s ethics can be applied to the ethics of professional accountants (PAs), in relation to the approach adopted by the…

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2806

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how Aristotle’s ethics can be applied to the ethics of professional accountants (PAs), in relation to the approach adopted by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), and to consider the reasons that justify the Aristotelian approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper outlines IFAC’s approach and identifies several weaknesses. Three themes of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics are applied to the work of PAs. Reasons why this perspective is more suitable for PAs are then articulated.

Findings

Several aspects of Aristotle’s ethics can be fruitfully applied to the ethics of PAs. These include the relationship between function, goals and the good, an awareness of the human goal to achieve eudaimonia, the development of both excellences of character and of intelligence, and the significance of non-rational aspects of morality, including emotions, will, responsibility and choice.

Research limitations/implications

This perspective provides an alternative conceptualisation of the ethics of PAs. Although it does not provide concrete guidance regarding what the ethical approach to specific situations may be, it presents a useful counterpoint to existing approaches that are largely deontological and utilitarian.

Practical implications

This paper provides accountants in practice with a more comprehensive and adequate perspective on what it means for a PA to be ethical, and raises several issues related to how ethics is included in the education and training of accountants.

Originality/value

Investigating the philosophical basis for professional ethics approaches professional codes of ethics in a way that it is not typically considered. The paper also provides a more comprehensive application of Aristotelian ethics than previous work.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 14 July 2006

Magdy Abdel-Kader and Robert Luther

IFAC's Management Accounting Practice Statement Number 1, revised in 1998, is concerned with management accounting practices. This research note describes an…

Abstract

IFAC's Management Accounting Practice Statement Number 1, revised in 1998, is concerned with management accounting practices. This research note describes an operationalization of its conception of the evolution of management accounting. The paper is informed by experience in developing and applying an IFAC-based model to survey the stage of evolution of the management accounting practices in a United Kingdom industry sector. The model is intrinsically interesting and has the potential for replication in other contexts and in comparative cross-national, inter-industry or longitudinal studies.

Details

Advances in Management Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-447-8

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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2007

Yass A. Alkafaji

Quality assurance review programs are created to provide assurances to the public that all accountants maintain a high level of competence in public practice. However, not…

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1790

Abstract

Purpose

Quality assurance review programs are created to provide assurances to the public that all accountants maintain a high level of competence in public practice. However, not all countries require such programs. The purpose of this research is to compare and contrast quality assurance review programs in different parts of the world in order to identify similarities and differences in these programs. In addition, the paper attempts to explain why some countries adopt quality assurance programs while others do not have such programs.

Design/methodology/approach

A request for information and a survey were sent to the accounting regulatory bodies who are members of the International Federations of Accountants (IFAC). In total, 44 countries responded to the survey, of which 33 have formal quality assurance programs. The survey results were analyzed to identify similarities and differences in the design and implementation of such programs and to draw conclusions from this analysis.

Findings

Analyses of the questionnaires indicate that quality assurance review programs among countries share some common features, but vary significantly in many other areas. It was also found that countries with significant stock markets tend to require quality assurance programs of their accounting firms while countries of less significant stock markets tend not to require such programs.

Research limitations/implications

The conclusions are based on the countries which responded to the survey. More countries did adopt quality assurance programs subsequent to the date of a survey in 2002.

Practical implications

Harmonizations of accounting and auditing standards have come a long way as a response to market globalization. Regulators, such as the IFAC, Securities and Exchange Commission and its counterparts, are demanding that such programs be implemented. This study provides a comprehensive evaluation of such programs in selected countries, and thus regulators may benefit from its findings.

Originality/value

The paper is the first of its type. The paper will help regulators and auditing firms to gain knowledge of the quality assurance programs of selected countries and establish policies in light of these results.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 22 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2008

L. Stainbank and G. Ramatho

Investigations into professional accountancy education gathered impetus with the publication of The impact of globalisation on accountancy education by Karreman in 2002…

Abstract

Investigations into professional accountancy education gathered impetus with the publication of The impact of globalisation on accountancy education by Karreman in 2002. This publication provided a comparative analysis of professional accountancy education in 25 countries worldwide, using a model developed for the classification of accountancy education systems. The rationale behind such an exercise is to promote educational exchange and facilitate educational development. The Karreman study only covered two countries in Africa, namely South Africa and Kenya. This study expands the Karreman study by comparing and benchmarking the professional accountancy education programmes in six member countries of the Eastern, Central and Southern African Federation of Accountants (ECSAFA) using the Karreman methodology. This study reports the results of a questionnaire survey to which seven accountancy bodies located in six countries responded. The results of this study revealed mostly agreement with the Karreman model. All the countries could be categorised as developing countries with common law/Roman‐Dutch legal systems and with a strong British influence. Thus similarities in regulation, education and practical experience are expected. The professional bodies tend towards professional selfregulation with low to medium membership regulation. All countries require practical experience before qualifying, and a theoretical approach to the final examination predominates. The study also shows that there is co‐operation in the region.

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Article
Publication date: 2 December 2019

Tobias Polzer, Levi Gårseth-Nesbakk and Pawan Adhikari

The purpose of this paper is to provide a global overview of the adoption status of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs) in the different contexts of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a global overview of the adoption status of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs) in the different contexts of developed and developing countries on central government level, particularly delineating key reform issues and attempts to overcome these.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on an analytical framework that combines neo-institutional theory with diffusion theory, prior research and official documents were re-analysed.

Findings

There are substantial differences regarding whether countries acknowledge having experienced large implementation challenges and the extent to which the reform benefits have been achieved. The study sheds light on the (institutional) underpinnings of these differences.

Research limitations/implications

First, the analysis could be extended to regional and local governments, as well as social funds. Both qualitative and quantitative strategies are suggested. Second, the implementation of the conceptual framework deserves further attention. Third, further research should more thoroughly scrutinise cost-benefit analyses used for justifying the (non)implementation of IPSASs, and in particular the assumptions that are being made in such analyses.

Practical implications

The paper informs policymakers and standard setters by delineating the areas and issues complicating the widespread adoption of IPSASs across countries, including pointing out directions to overcome these.

Social implications

Substantial amounts of public money are invested internationally to converge accounting standards and translate them into native languages. A close(r) monitoring is needed to ensure that these efforts obtain sufficient value for money.

Originality/value

This study is original as it applies an analytical framework that combines neo-institutional theory and diffusion theory to examine public sector accounting convergence issues internationally. Such an approach explicitly puts a focus on decoupling between reform “talk” (decision) and “walk” (implementation) and helps to analyse the reasons for this decoupling.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 33 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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