Accounting Values

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Culture plays a significant role in influencing and explaining behavior in social systems. According to Hofstede, there are four value dimensions, individualism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance and femininity. Gray develops four accounting values on the basis ofHofstede(1984)’s culture dimensions.

Accounting values| |
Professionalism| A preference for the exercise of individual professional judgment and the maintenance of professional self-regulation as opposed to compliance with prescriptive legal requirements and statutory control| Uniformity| Preference for the enforcement of uniform accounting practices between companies and for the consistent use of such practices over time as opposed to flexibility in accordance with the perceived circumstances of individual companies.| Conservatism| Preference for a cautious approach to measurement so as to cope with the uncertainty of future events s opposed to a more optimistic, laissez-faire, risk-taking approach.| Secrecy| Preference for confidentiality and the restriction of disclosure of information about the business only to those who are closely involved with its management and financing as opposed to a more transparent, open and publicly accountable approach| Gray (1988)

Statutory control

Flexibility Uniformity

Germanic

Anglo

Professionalism
Gray (1988)

Secrecy

Germanic

Optimism Conservatism

Anglo

Transparency
Gray (1988)

Accounting values for USA and UK are tended to be professionalism. However, German is more close to statutory control. This is because the index of individualism of USA and UK are higher than that of German. In developed countries like UK and USA, providing “a true and fair view”of a company’s financial results rely on theprofessionalaccountants’judgment.However, in German,professional accountants concern much more on detailed...
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