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Chapter 4 and 5 International Classification of Financial Reporting

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1 Chapter 4 and 5 International Classification of Financial Reporting
International Harmonization of accounting

2 Classification of Accounting and Reporting Systems
Classification aids in Describing, analyzing, and predicting the development of accounting systems Strategic planning and control decisions International systems integration The Challenge? Adapt past effective techniques to meet the demands of the global market Must understand international traditions and heritage

3 Purposes of International Classification
Describe and compare international systems Improved understanding of Similarities and differences of systems Development of systems and potential for change Dominance of some systems over others Assess issues of international harmonization Identify and solve problems

4 Purposes of International Classification
Developing countries will be informed of systems in other countries Aid international accountants and auditors Problems with accounting and control systems for MNEs – understood and solved

5 Classification Research
Deductive or judgmental approach Environmental factors identified and linked to national accounting practices International groupings or development patterns are proposed Inductive or empirical approach Individual practices analyzed Development patterns or groupings identified Explanations based on economic, social, political, and cultural factors proposed

6 Deductive approach Mueller’s four approaches to accounting development
Macroeconomic pattern Business accounting is tied to national economic policies – Examples: Sweden, France, Germany Microeconomic pattern Accounting is a branch of business economics – Example: replacement-value accounting in Holland

7 Deductive approach Mueller’s four approaches to accounting development
Independent discipline pattern Accounting is a service function derived from business practice – Examples: U.S. and U.K. Uniform accounting pattern Accounting is an efficient means of administration and control – Examples: France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland

8 Nobes’s Hierarchial Classification

9 Inductive Approach Nair and Frank (1980) findings 1973 data
Four measurement groups British Commonwealth Latin America Continental European U.S. Seven disclosure groups Could not be plausibly described No explanation offered for difference in groupings

10 Inductive Approach Nair and Frank (1980) findings
Differences between measurement and disclosure groups Hypotheses not supported Cultural and economic variables associated with disclosure practices Trading variables associated with measurement practices Overall – little attention given to influence of culture

11 Cultural Influences on Accounting Systems Culture, Societal Values, and the Accounting Subculture – Fig. 2.3

12 Structural Elements of Culture
Hofstede – 4 Underlying societal dimensions Individualism Power Distance Uncertainty Avoidance Masculinity Countries grouped into culture areas Hofstede and Bond – 5th dimension Confucion Dynamism

13 Hofstede’s Societal Dimensions
Individualism versus Collectivism People’s self-concept: “I” or “we” Large versus Small Power Distance How a society handles inequalities among people Strong versus Weak Uncertainty Avoidance Control the future or just let it happen Masculinity versus Femininity The way a society allocates social roles to gender Confucian Dynamism Short-term or long-term orientation

14 Accounting Values – Gray
Professionalism versus statutory control Uniformity versus flexibility Conservatism versus optimism Secrecy versus transparency

15 Professionalism versus Statutory Control
Accountants are perceived to have independent attitudes throughout the world Public regulation or self regulation U.K. – rely on judgment of accountant France and Germany – implement detailed legal requirements Link to societal value dimensions – Professionalism Individualism Weak uncertainty avoidance Small power distance Masculinity Short-term orientation

16 Uniformity versus Flexibility
Uniform accounting plan and imposition of tax rules for measurement purposes France and Spain Facilitate national planning Pursue macroeconomic goals Intertemporal consistency and some degree of intercompany comparability b/c of flexibility U.S. and U.K. Link to societal value dimensions – Uniformity Strong uncertainty avoidance Collectivism Large power distance

17 Figure 2.4 Culture and Accounting Systems in Practice

18 Authority and Enforcement

19 Conservatism versus Optimism
Conservatism seen as a fundamental value Strongly conservative Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland Less conservative U.S., U.K., the Netherlands Link to societal value dimensions – Conservatism Strong uncertainty avoidance Long-term orientation Collectivism Femininity

20 Secrecy versus Transparency
Stems from management and accountants Closely related to conservatism Secrecy relates to disclosure Conservatism relates to measurement Secrecy High – Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland Low – U.S. and U.K. Link to societal value dimensions – Secrecy Strong uncertainty avoidance High power distance Collectivism Femininity

21 Accounting Values and Societal Values

22 Accounting Values and International Classification
Accounting values most relevant to professional or statutory authority and enforcement Professionalism and Uniformity Both concerned with regulation and degree of enforcement or conformity Accounting values most relevant to measurement and disclosure Conservatism and secrecy Country groupings Optimistic and transparent Conservative and secretive

23 Accounting Values and International Classification

24 International Pressures for Accounting Change
Growing international interdependencies Harmonization of the regulatory framework internationally Centrally planned economies embraces market-oriented approach Former U.S.S.R., Eastern Europe, China New opportunities for international investment, joint ventures, and alliances

25 Economic Groupings and International Organizations
European Union Promotes economic integration/harmonization UN World Bank International Monetary Fund UN conference on Trade and Development World Trade Organisation OECD Foster international economic and social development in industrialized countries “Code of Conduct” for MNEs

26 Impact of MNEs and Globalization
Cultural and social Employment and consumption patterns Significantly influenced Pressure for more accountability Environmental impact

27 Impact of MNEs and Globalization
OECD, EU, IOSCO work for harmonization and internationalization of securities markets IASB and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Professional organizations involved in harmonization

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