The context of the contemporary accounting professional - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

1 / 19
About This Presentation

The context of the contemporary accounting professional


Chapter 15 The context of the contemporary accounting professional – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:38
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 20
Provided by: carol440


Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: The context of the contemporary accounting professional

Chapter 15
  • The context of the contemporary accounting

Environmental changes
  • Changes in environmental conditions can be
    characterised by the following trends
  • technical and ideological proletarisation of
    accountants in public and private sectors
  • the institutional capitalism of the new governing
  • the assimilation of academic accountants into a
    flawed universal class
  • the manufactured consciousness of users

Genesis of emerging structural changes
  • Societies are constituted by groups of
    protagonists competing for economic and social
    power and political authority
  • Dominant modes of interaction consistently favour
    one category over another and result in
    exploitation of others
  • At every societal level, groups of protagonists
    face each other over the contradictions that
    separate them

Genesis of emerging structural changes (contd)
  • The emerging structural changes in the accounting
    environment are contradictions created by the
    global conflicts and the emergence of new
    protagonists in the accounting and other

Technical and ideological proletarianisation of
  • The first element in the new-era conflict is the
    emergence of new class differences among
  • Accountants have become proletarianised, working
    according to a division of labour conceived and
    monitored by management, following procedural
    rules and repertoires created by administrative
    processes and/or fiat

Technical proletariansation
  • Has reflected a shift of control towards
    employers or management and a loss of the
    creative freedom accountants enjoyed as
    self-employed professionals
  • In the process, as theorised by Marx, they have
    lost control of both the means and ends of
    labour, a phenomenon labelled as technical

Ideological proletarianisation
  • In addition to technical proletarianistion, the
    emergence of the new working class or
    professional managerial class has led also to
    an ideological proletarianisation, which refers
    to the appropriation of control by management for
    capital, over the goals and social purposes to
    which work is put
  • The accountant has lost control of the nature of
    the total product and may be indifferent to the
    outcome of the activities he or she is involved in

Results of the proletarianisation
  • May lead to the accountant losing the knowledge
    base as capital restructures through management
    the specification of the product and management
    restructures the organisation of work
  • Renders the accountant a mere technician of
    functionaries, separate from the major social,
    moral and technological issues of his or her
  • These changes have led to a decrease in the
    number and quality of people going into
    accounting programs the profession lacks

Effects on the accountant
  • The accountant may respond by either ideological
    desensitisation or ideological cooperation
  • ideological desensitisation is a denial or
    separation of the self from ideological control
    of the job, disclaiming either interest or
    responsibility for the social uses to which ones
    work is put
  • ideological cooperation is a redefinition of
    ones goals to make them consistent with
    institutional imperatives
  • In either case, there is a high likelihood of the
    accountant being alienated from his or her work

  • Alienation in the domain of work has a fourfold
  • a human being is alienated from the objects
    he/she produces, and
  • from the process of production, and
  • from him or herself, and
  • from the community of his or her fellows
  • In this condition, the mindset of accountants,
    their consciousness, is to a large extent only
    the reflection of the conditions in which they
    find themselves and of the position in the
    process of production

Institutional capitalism
  • The second element in the new conflictual order
    concerns the nature of the governing class in
    corporations and accounting firms
  • the corporate community is characterised by a
    socially cohesive national upper class
  • according to Westergaard and Resler, this
    governing class is composed of those who own and
    those who control capital on a larger scale
    they have a common stake in one overriding cause
    to keep the working rule of society capitalist

Class-wide rationality
  • This assumes that the corporate elite is largely
    capable of identifying and promoting its common
    political objectives
  • Although corporate rationality still
    characterises much of the internal organisation
    of accounting firms, class-wide rationality now
    characterises its highest circles. Old school
    ties and kindred signs of proper breeding greatly
    facilitate access to the highest circles of the
    CPA firms

Academic accountants
  • The third element in the new conflictual order is
    a new class of academic accountants
  • Gouldner advanced two propositions regarding this
    flawed universal class
  • the rise of a new class comprising humanistic
    intellectuals and technical intelligentsia, whose
    universalism is badly flawed
  • the growing dominance of this class as a cultural
    bourgeoisie and having monopoly over cultural
    capitalism and professionalism from which it
    gains its power

Academic accountants (contd)
  • This new class forms one speech community,
    sharing a culture of critical discourse. This
    concept is defined as
  • a historically evolved set of rules, a grammar
    of discourse which
  • is conceived to justify its assertions,
  • whose mode of justification does not proceed by
    involving authorities and
  • prefers to elicit the voluntary consent of those
    addressed solely on the basis of arguments

Academic accountants a flawed class
  • This new class is flawed because it is considered
    elitist and self-seeking and uses its special
    knowledge to advance its own interests and power
  • Gouldner suggests that the new class uses
    cultural reproduction to maintain its power just
    as economic reproduction is used to serve the
    interests of the holders of economic capital
  • Academic accountants are motivated by
    self-interest and the pressing need to publish
  • Academic accountants have gained a power
    associated with their monopoly over the cultural
    accounting capital

Capitalist domination of information
  • The capitalist domination of information can be
    expressed in three propositions
  • the class rule of management appropriates the
    information product they create
  • such domination is maintained by the states
    enforcement of contractual arrangements,
    protection of property rights and maintenance of
    public order
  • information tools at the disposition of
    management, such as annual reports and press
    releases, allow management to disseminate
    information useful for the preservation of its

The manufactured consciousness of users
  • The three propositions amount to three forms of
  • market exploitation
  • legal coercion
  • ideological domination
  • They allow management to convey its beliefs to
    the users and, in the process, shape users
    consciousness about the firm
  • The users acquire a manufactured consciousness
    compatible with the expectations of management

Manufacturing of consciousness
  • The manufacturing of consciousness is an obstacle
    to the expansion of data that is relevant to the
  • The proper task is to announce the truth, expose
    the error, and identify all the constraints that
    can impede enquiring, comprehension and efficient
  • A similar approach, the ethical approach to
    financial accounting, rests on concepts of
    fairness, justice, equity and truth

Manufacturing of consciousness (contd)
  • A user needs to be informed of the wide
    dissemination of accounting reports
  • A better strategy with the attribute of better
    informing the user is to expose the user to
    various accounting reports from various sources
  • What may result is a shift in the users
    expertise an expansion of the breadth of
    knowledge, that the user may acquire a better
    sense of what is useful and what is not, and an
    evaluation of the different preparers of
    accounting information
Write a Comment
User Comments (0)