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L'évolution d'une profession comptable globale: Une étude comparative historique en quelques pays européens


  • C. Richard Baker

    (School of Business - Adelphi University, Pôle de Recherche - Rouen Business School - Rouen Business School)


While it is now evident that a global accounting profession has evolved in response to the growth of global capitalism, an historical survey of the evolution of the accounting profession suggests that the evolution of the accounting profession has not been smooth or constant, and that the State has played a significant role in this evolution. The legal requirement for external audits of company financial statements, which found its inception in the mid-19th century, provided an opportunity for the growth of a global accounting profession, but economic competition among nation states and frequent military conflict during the 19th and 20th centuries inhibited the creation of a truly global profession. Moreover, the ways in which the profession emerged and evolved through time have differed in different countries, and it is only during recent periods that there have been significant efforts to harmonize the regulatory structures for the profession in different countries. A comparative historical survey of the evolution of the accounting profession in several major countries constitutes the primary focus of this paper.

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  • C. Richard Baker, 2012. "L'évolution d'une profession comptable globale: Une étude comparative historique en quelques pays européens," Post-Print hal-00690939, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00690939
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Margerison & Peter Moizer, 1996. "Auditor licensing in the European Union: a comparative study based on cultural differences," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 29-56.
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    5. Robson, Keith & Willmott, Hugh & Cooper, David & Puxty, Tony, 1994. "The ideology of professional regulation and the markets for accounting labour: Three episodes in the recent history of the U.K. accountancy profession," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 527-553, August.
    6. Lisa Evans & Christopher Nobes, 1998. "Harmonization relating to auditor independence: the Eighth Directive, the UK and Germany," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 493-516.
    7. Watts, Ross L & Zimmerman, Jerold L, 1983. "Agency Problems, Auditing, and the Theory of the Firm: Some Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 613-633, October.
    8. Gietzmann, M. B. & Quick, R., 1998. "Capping auditor liability: The German experience," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 81-103, January.
    9. Lisa Evans & Christopher Nobes, 1998. "Harmonization of the structure of audit firms: incorporation in the UK and Germany," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 125-148.
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    More about this item


    history of auditing; accounting profession; United Kingdom; Germany; histoire de l'audit; profession comptable; France; Royaume Unis; Allemagne;

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