The Impact Of Culture On The Social Institutions Like Accounting Accounting Essay


The impact of civilization on the societal establishments like accounting can non be underestimated. Before the addition in in-migration and cross-border concerns, civilization has been in the sphere of anthropology and archeology. This work considers whether civilization affect unified planetary accounting patterns and whether an apprehension of cultural function in accounting can assist to understand international accounting criterions. These turn out will be made grounds utilizing the Anglo-American and Euro-Continental accounting theoretical accounts ( Canada and France ) as instance survey. Although there are other factors ( historical, economic, and institutional, legal system, the revenue enhancement Torahs etc ) that can impact accounting harmonisation, civilization is a major obstruction.


There is no normally accepted definition of civilization. Violet ( 1983a ) sees civilization as a system that encompasses and determines the development of societal establishments and societal phenomena. Perera ( 1989 ) regarded civilization as an look of norms, values and imposts that reflect typical behavioural features within a defined societal grouping. Kuper 1999, ( cited in Baskerville, p.2 ) merely defines it as “ a affair of thoughts and values, a corporate dramatis personae of head ” .

We will write a custom essay sample on
The Impact Of Culture On The Social Institutions Like Accounting Accounting Essay
or any similar topic only for you
Order now

Hofstede 1997 defined civilization as “ the corporate scheduling of the head which distinguishes the members of one group or class of people from another. “ He sees cultural differences at four different degrees – symbols, heroes, rites, and values.

From the definitions, it shows that civilization is shared among persons belonging to a group or society, formed over a comparatively long period and comparatively stable.

In accounting context Askary, Saeed ( p.2 ) defined civilization as those environmental factors that strongly impact national accounting systems – a likely causal factor of different national accounting patterns in agreement with differing national civilizations.

Cultural STUDIES

It is a close impossibleness to discourse civilization without adverting Hofstede. He conducted the most comprehensive survey of how workplace values are influenced by civilization from 1967 to 1973, while working at IBM as a psychologist. He analyzed informations from over 100,000 persons from 40 states. In 1980 he identified four distinguishable contrasting sets of dimensions of civilization which has enjoyed considerable attending. They are: ( 1 ) Power distance, demoing step of interpersonal power between people, ( 2 ) Individualism versus Bolshevism demoing step of personal liberty between persons and collectives, ( 3 ) uncertainness turning away demoing anxiousness degree of society members towards the hereafter and ( 4 ) Masculinity-allocation of functions between sexes. In 2007, he added a 5th dimension that is non excessively relevant for our survey which is Long-run Orientation – LTO ; which is associated with doggedness. His survey was seen as a accelerator in international accounting research which subsequently accounting research workers like Gray 1988, Perera 1989, Wuthnow 1994 adopted into accounting context. Harmonizing to Sudarwan and Fogarty ( 1996, p.2 ) , his work has been cited in 583studies from 1981-1992 and this justifies its usage in accounting research.

Gray ( 1988 ) developed important accounting hypotheses utilizing cultural values as developed by Hofstede to set up relationship to accounting values. He addressed cultural influence on accounting of different states from the distinguishable social values perspective. He identified the possibility of significantly associating accounting values, at the degree of the accounting subculture, to societal values, by giving the following ‘accounting ‘ values for consideration ;

( 1 ) Professionalism ; intending penchant on single professional judgement and ego ordinance as opposed to normative legal demands and statutory control. It linked Hofstede ‘s high individuality, weak uncertainness turning away, maleness, given the construct of assertiveness, and little power distance.

( 2 ) Uniformity ; He shows penchant for unvarying accounting patterns between companies as against flexibleness of alone circumstance of a company. It reflects societies with high uncertainty-avoidance and big power-distance indexes of Hofstede.

( 3 ) Conservatism: Here there is penchant for cautiousness to measurement, as it helps one to get by with future uncertainness. It contrasts with a “ more optimistic, hazard taking attack ” . This links high uncertainty-avoidance, individuality, and maleness dimensions by Hofstede.

( 4 ) Secrecy ; Here information is shared amongst the stopping point directors and moneymans as against more unfastened, crystalline, publically accountable attack. This is associated with societies that have strong uncertainty-avoidance and power-distance dimensions.

Chua 1988 ( cited in Askary p.5 ) like Gray said that “ Values and beliefs play a cardinal function in the fundamental law of accounting knowledgeaˆ¦ . “ hence, civilization and accounting are inextricably linked.

Perera 1989 ( cited by Askary p.6 ) sees two associated ways of analysing the cultural influences on accounting patterns: finding a set of specific social values/cultural factors likely to be straight linked with accounting pattern and confirmation of any association between social values and specific accounting patterns. To him accounting practices/systems of different states are influenced by their cultural values that, in bend, shape their accounting patterns.

Applicability of Hofstede ‘s model has been questioned in accounting context. Critics see his cultural dimension in accounting research as doing misdirecting dependance on cultural indices. Gernon and Wallace 1995 ( cited in Ding Y. , Jeanjean T. , & A ; Stolowy H.p.9 ) described his cultural surveies in international accounting research as “ trapped by a paradigm nearsightedness by its trust on the model suggested by Hofstede ” partially because his study was of one organisation hence do non supply dependable information on the cultural values of an full state. Baskerville 2003 ( cited in Ding Y. , Jeanjean T. , & A ; Stolowy H.p.9 ) besides criticizes him for comparing civilization with state. From the Encyclopedia of World Cultures O’Leary & A ; Levinson, 1991 ( cited in Baskerville 2002 ) identified that in the Middle East the Human Relations Area Files place 35 different civilizations in 14 states.

Gray ‘s indices are besides criticized. Willett et Al. 1997 ( cited in Chanchani & A ; Willett, 2004 ) while knocking Gray identifies civilization as most clearly impacting those parts of the accounting environment that are basically societal and besides stated that civilization influences revelation patterns more than measuring patterns.

Despite these unfavorable judgments, the theoretical accounts have some utilizations. Harmonizing to Ding et Al. ( 2005 ) , Hofstede ‘s theoretical account, though strongly criticized, is still widely used because of its extended international coverage, and robust consequences have been generated. His consequence is still used to explicate national diversenesss in accounting though the research sample was designed and selected to avoid diverseness. Chanchani & A ; Willett ( 2004 ) noted that Gray ‘s theory continues to be referred to in ongoing research, and a figure of recent surveies have related accounting opinion on assorted affairs to cultural influences.

Hofstede/Gray ‘s analysis have attempted to understand the differences in national accounting criterions from cultural background view-point, and has been utile in set uping a nexus between accounting and civilizations. Analysiss here farther buttress the statement that civilization plays a major function in determining a state ‘s accounting criterions.


Cultural influence in accounting environments has been a topic in accounting research and has been examined by many bookmans: ( Violet ( 1983 ) , Belkaoui ( 1990, 1996 & A ; 1997 ) , and Doupnik and Salter ( 1995 ) ; Harrison and Mckinnon ( 1986 ) , Belkaoui ; and Culture and international accounting systems by Gray ( 1988 ) , Perera ( 1989 ) and Fechner and Kilgore ( 1994 ) ( all cited by Askary pp.2-3 ) . They largely established a premier facie instance that civilization influences accounting patterns.

Consequently, Perera 1989 ( cited by Askary p.2 ) sees each accounting system as a merchandise of its specific environment. Mueller, Gernon and Meek 1994 ( cited by Askary p.2 ) besides noted, “ Accounting is shaped by the environment in which it operates ” . Even in describing pattern, Radebaugh and Gray ( 1997 ) through a comparative survey concluded that each state coverage pattern is influenced by civilization despite being of criterion.

Jaggi 1975 ( cited by Askary p.3 ) appreciated that the cultural environment was an independent variable that could act upon fiscal revelation patterns in response to value orientations. Violet 1983a ( cited by Askary p.3 ) perceived accounting as a merchandise “ . . . of its civilization ” .

Gambling and Abdel-Karim 1986 ( cited by Askary p.3 ) reasoned that:

. . . accounting theory is portion of the personality and hence portion of the civilization. If the

persons are Muslims, their personalities are Islamic and their civilization is Islamic.

Therefore, their accounting theory is Islamicaˆ¦ .

From the foregoing, one can conveniently state that accounting theory and patterns is a merchandise of persons who are influenced by their beliefs.

Some cultural factors that influence accounting include linguistic communication, faith, ethical motives, values, attitudes, jurisprudence, instruction, political relations, societal organisation and engineering. The inquiry now is how do civilization influence accounting? One can non undervalue the power of civilization. Beliefs most times guide what you do and accounting is non an exclusion. Moral judgement, value system, attitude towards anything, legal system, Religion or even educational background are powerful forces implicit in behaviors. It is hence non questionable that the above factors shapes accounting value, hence impacts the accounting environment internationally. A good illustration is Muslim civilization that does non promote borrowing as against western civilization that is anchored on adoption.

This cultural influence has proved to hold made accounting harmonisation hard. A major harmonisation effort is the puting up of the International Accounting Standards Board ( IASB ) , under the inadvertence of the International Accounting Standards Committee ( IASC ) through an understanding made by professional accounting organic structures from developed states. Its aim is to develop a set of planetary accounting criterions that require high quality, transparence, and comparison of fiscal statements of different states ( iasplus 2007 ) . But its attempts have been frustrated by restraints like civilization, instruction, revenue enhancement, political clime, and economic development of many states.

Comparison of Canada and France accounting theoretical accounts

Hofstede ‘s cultural dimensions ‘ as applied in accounting by Gray ( 1988 ) will be used to sort Canada and France. Canada and France use different accounting systems and run within socio-economic environments which have many distinguishing characteristics that may act upon accounting.

Canada has Anglo-American accounting and scrutinizing tradition hence flexibleness and professionalism prevails. Her system and values precautions stockholder involvements. In contrast, Gallic accounting system as in most Continental European states relies upon the “ Plan Comptable ” and codified regulations that satisfy stakeholders ‘ information demands and it is characterized by values of uniformity and statutory control ( Gray, 1988 ) .

Canada and France accepted International Accounting Standards ( IAS, called International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS ) since 2001 but Gray and Street 2001 ( cited by Othman H. B and Zeghal. D 2006 ) still happen differences between them in footings of IAS/IFRS execution. Leuz, and Wysocki 2000 ( cited by Othman H. B and Zeghal D. 2006 ) argue that it is because “ IASC criterions possess no enforcement regulations and rely on local hearers and country-specific legal redresss to implement criterions.

Using Gray ‘s four accounting values as discussed above, Canada is viewed to hold higher professionalism, flexibleness, optimism and transparence which have shaped the finance manner and stockholder corporate-governance theoretical account. There is besides deficiency of interaction between fiscal coverage because of its high individuality, low uncertainty-avoidance and power-distance index. France has higher statutory control, uniformity, conservativism, and high uncertainness turning away which in contrast show strong authorities influence in accounting ordinance. France has a stakeholder corporate-governance theoretical account, which is dominated by Bankss, authorities, or households.

Canada has a common-law accounting system which includes the accounting criterions used to fix fiscal information. The provincial and federal jurisprudence left the ordinance of accounting criterions to the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants ( CICA ) . There is no unvarying program of histories ; instead criterions germinate by going normally accepted in pattern, but with a considerable grade of uniformity which the CICA regulates. Consequently, accounting and revenue enhancement regulations are kept separate. Fiscal studies are drawn up harmonizing to accounting criterions.

In France, “ Plan comptable general ” which Governmental imposed on accounting have strongly influenced accounting patterns ( Perera, 1989 ) . This Accounting Plan is typically normative, elaborate, and procedural. Fiscal accounting is really much a public-sector activity, administered by governmental ( or quasi-governmental ) organic structures.


This essay has looked at how civilization influences the accounting criterions and sees that civilization so shapes the accounting criterions of any peculiar state. Many states place great accent on their ain accounting criterions, because of the social values and norms on which these criterions have been designed. The definition of civilization and how it affects national/international accounting criterions were provided, mentioning the analyses of Hofstede and Gray. Our analyses utilizing Canada and France as sample states set up the much ignored nexus between civilization and accounting. The essay besides looked at international accounting harmonisation attempts of the IASB, and how civilization has affected its ends. Although there are other factors impacting national accounting criterions, civilization so plays a polar function in finding national accounting criterions. With the analyses, it is hoped that civilization and accounting will be considered side-by-side when determinations are being made globally.


Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out