Coordinates of the Accounting in Romania. Historical and Current Perspectives
Calu, Daniela Artemisa St., Dumitru, Mădălina, Gușe, Raluca, Pitulice Ileana Cosmina, Ștefanescu, Aurelia and Țurlea, Eugeniu - Coordinates of the Accounting in Romania. Historical and Current Perspectives, Ed. ALPHA MDN, 2011
277 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2016
Date Written: October 13, 2011
Nowadays, in accounting, the study of the past and of the national specific features is conducted within two disciplines: Accounting History and Comparative Accounting. Through the phenomenon of hybridization, these two dimensions have resulted in a new research area: the historical and the current comparative approach of accounting. The necessity of such a research area has been expressed by Walton (1995) as it follows: “starting from a fundamental position that the ensemble of accounting practices and regulations in any of the countries at any given time are not representative of the present but are rather an accumulation of past decisions which have been modified in response to many different stimuli over a span of time, it follows that anyone wishing to study the current state of financial reporting in a particular country needs to be able to examine how the regulations have developed historically”. Starting from this premise, the authors have attempted to capture particular aspects of Romanian accounting.
The publication of this paper in English is a consequence of the fact that the lack of historical and sometimes current information in respect to accounting in some countries is often regarded as an impediment in the comparative historical research. The motivation for historical and current approaches in the field of several segments of Romanian accounting (financial accounting and reporting, management accounting, public sector accounting, non-for-profit organizations accounting, banks and other financial institutions accounting) has been reinforced by Parker’s assessment (1993). The author believes that “the writing of accounting history is increasingly dominated by writers in English discussing private-sector accounting in English-speaking countries (...) it would be a pity if they came to regard their small sub-set of the subject as constituting the whole and the regard as worthy of research only those aspects of accounting which are regarded as important today”. The paper is addressed to all those who want to learn some information concerning the development of the accounting system in Romania, in the context of economic and political changes in the existing paradigm over time. Accordingly, the accounting system in Romania is considered during three distinct periods. The period 1908-1948 is characterized by the existence of an accounting journal in which the authors discussed specific issues, based on researches that were correlated with those in other countries (France, Germany). The period 1949-1989 is characterized by a Soviet-inspired accounting system, similar to the ones in other Eastern and Central European countries where there was a socialist economic system and a communist government. This accounting system was lacking options. An intense process of changes in the accounting domain characterizes the period 1990 to date. In terms of influences exercised, the most significant are the French influence at the beginning of the ‘90s and the international influence at the end of the decade. On the other hand, new areas of interest emerge that have been (almost) inexistent in the past (auditing, group accounts).
There are inherent limitations to such an approach. First, the historical approach is based primarily on information published in professional journals, and therefore since no information was published prior to 1908 (when the first issue of an accounting journal was published) the data for the period before this moment is very scarce. In addition, some segments have not been addressed (e.g. Insurance) and others have been addressed briefly (Not-for-profit organizations, Banks and other financial institutions). Another limit consists of the differences in terminology. For this reason, whenever a quote or an abbreviation were used to express specific national issues, the original text was also presented. Finally, given that over time the same concept has had different labels in Romanian and that none of the authors is a native English speaker, this was a more difficult aspect to capture.
Keywords: Accounting, History, Romania, changes in accounting
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation