Accounting and the Welfare-State: The Missing Link
30 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2009
Date Written: July 1, 2009
In recent years accounting regulation has internationalized with the extensive use and adoption of IFRS by nation-states which points at least at a formal convergence of accounting systems. But still major differences between national accounting systems persist. In this paper it is argued that the accounting system of countries is influenced by the type of the welfare-state. This allows us to see accounting in a broader social perspective. The societal attitudes influencing the ac-counting system are captured by using the Esping-Andersen classification of welfare states and show that the aims of accounting are reflecting the regime of the welfare-state. To show that there is a connection between the typology of welfare-states and the degree of balancing interests between corporate constituencies, we compare Germany as an example for a conservative welfare-state and the UK as an example for a liberal welfare-state. According to this, it can be shown that the type of welfare state exerts an influence to the system of accounting and therefore can be seen as explanatory variable for persisting differences of accounting systems.
Keywords: Comparative Accounting Research, Institutionalism, Critical Perspective
JEL Classification: M41, M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation