IFRS and institutional work in the accounting domain

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Critical Perspectives on Accounting


© 2018 The Author This study highlights how the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards, in a context of minimal readiness, induces power imbalance between corporate accounting and audit, and changes acceptable accounting practices, and roles. Using the concept of institutional work, I analyze data from interviews and secondary sources, focusing attention on the practices of issuing financial statements. I find that the technical dependency of corporate accounting on audit blurs the boundaries between the two fields. I argue that this generates conditions for implicit negotiations, in which both groups (corporate accountants and auditors) engage in institutional work. Two subtypes of institutional work are identified as corporate accountants relinquish some of their traditionally institutionalized activities to the ‘expert’ auditors, to maintain field stability, while auditors encroach on the corporate accounting field, to remove obstacles during the implementation of IFRS. While there is no shortage of research documenting the economic outcomes of the adoption of IFRS, there is hardly any examination of how this technical disruption, has affected practices and relations within the accounting domain. Incorporating views and actions from the much-ignored corporate accounting field enables a more holistic view of how responses to IFRS are constructed, especially in contexts where IFRS are adopted for legitimacy.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Dina Aburous, Zayed University