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Perceptions of the Royal Mail Case in the Netherlands


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  • Camfferman, Kees

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)

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    The 1931 Royal Mail case, as a landmark event in the history of British accountancy, did not go unnoticed in the Netherlands. Awareness of the case is reflected by a fairly wide scattering of references in contemporary Dutch documentary sources, notably in the literature of the auditing profession. Because of this, the case provides a convenient opening for studying the comparative development of accounting and auditing in Britain and the Netherlands. This paper documents Dutch references to the Royal Mail case from the 1930s to the early 1950s and it presents an interpretation of the pattern and nature of these references. The materials brought together in this paper show that in interpreting the Royal Mail case, Dutch auditors paid more attention to general issues of auditor responsibility than to the issue of secret reserve accounting with which the case is traditionally associated. The case provided support for those who argued with Limperg that the Dutch profession was ahead of Britain in its views on auditor responsibility.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0036.

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    Date of creation: 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:dgr:vuarem:1998-36

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    Cited by:
    1. Camfferman, Kees, 1998. "Influence of German Betriebswirtschaftslehre on Dutch Bedrijfseconomie with particular reference to accounting," Serie Research Memoranda 0035, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    2. Malcolm Anderson, 1999. "Accounting History Publications 1998," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 375-384.
    3. Stephen Zeff & Willem Buijink & Kees Camfferman, 1999. "'True and fair' in the Netherlands: inzicht or getrouw beeld ?," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 523-548.


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