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The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of context specific issues and challenges facing small accounting practices (SAPs) in Australian regional and rural…
The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of context specific issues and challenges facing small accounting practices (SAPs) in Australian regional and rural centres. It is argued that these firms face a dynamic and continuously changing environment which requires strategic responses on the part of SAP owners. The paper explores how SAPs accommodate and respond to their contextual environment, and in turn, shape that environment.
This paper adopts a qualitative case study research approach involving the review and analysis of the prior literature and relevant archival documents, and semi‐structured interviews with the key SAP owner/managers.
The findings suggest that SAPs adopt innovative strategies and structures. The SAPs in this study were generally found to be resilient and dynamic in responding to the changes in their contextual environment. Significant differences between SAPs were also found, particularly on how they addressed contextual uncertainties.
This is a case study research on SAPs in rural and regional centres. Any generalization of the conclusions from this study should be undertaken with care, even though there are similarities between SAPs operating in rural and regional centres and those operating in large metropolitan areas.
This paper makes an important contribution by highlighting the SAPs' responses depending on their contextual environment.
The paper aims to explore the reasons behind the formation of a regional accountants' network located in North Queensland, Australia, and examine in depth how…
The paper aims to explore the reasons behind the formation of a regional accountants' network located in North Queensland, Australia, and examine in depth how relationships are constituted and maintained between the network members. The study also looks at the benefits arising from the network, structural constraints and the reasons behind its demise.
This study adopts a more contemporary theoretical perspective which draws upon the notion of social capital that facilitates networks' capacity and capabilities for creating, sharing and accessing knowledge. This field study considers the specific case of the Cairns Regional Accountants' Forum (CRAF), a network of small and medium sized public accounting firms located far away from the metropolitan centres in Australia. Apart from the relevant archival data, senior partners/principals of 12 accounting firms were interviewed in a semi-structured manner. Three further interviews were held with the non-active members of the CRAF and telephone calls were made to the Regional Tax Practitioner Forum to discuss their involvement with the local accountants.
Using the framework of social capital within the community of practice, this study has explored the use of informal regional network built by accounting principals for the efficient transfer of and access to knowledge between network members. When the knowledge became freely available, the cost of network building exceeded the benefits of belonging and the network collapsed.
The paper has practical implications for accounting practitioners, particularly in regional/rural settings and for the accounting profession as a whole.
First, very little is known about informal networks in knowledge-intensive firms stretched out in regional/rural settings. Second, the network in this study is different from many networks identified in the literature that have focused on innovation and competitive advantage. Finally, this study adopts a more integrated framework that explores how social capital is constituted and reconstituted in the network interaction process.