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Accountancy is not a profession - Essay Example

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Accountancy is not a profession

In the period between 1933 and 1934, there occurred tremendous growth in the financial markets and their structure and level of organization improved considerably. That growth can be attributed to the audited financial data’s reliability to a considerable extent (Antle and Suner, 2007). However, over the last decade, a wave of scandals has shaken the structure of accountancy as a profession. The debate surrounding the professional status of accountancy can be traced back to the early 20th century. The supreme court of one of the states in the early 20th century referred to accountancy as a “business” that did not benefited the public like the “profession of law”, and further said that the laws of accountancy “have been passed in the interest of those engaged in the business and for their protection and advantage rather than in the interest of the public welfare” (Turnburee, 1946, p. 47). Profession has been defined as “a calling, occupation, or vocation distinguished from a trade or handicraft” (Webster cited in Turnburee, 1946, p. 47). On the other hand, accountancy has been defined as “the art as well as the science of recording, classifying, summarizing of business transactions in terms of money within an accounting or financial year, with the help of principles and techniques” (Banerjee, 2010, p. 4). ...
Formation of such organizations has increased the demand of clarification of the rules. When the accountants get any pressure from the management or are sued, they tend to approach the rule-making organizations and express their concern over lack of clarification of rules in particular cases. Rules are always secondary to professional judgment. “In the big picture, this shift in emphasis from judgment to rules has damaged their professionalism. No profession can rely on rules as the main basis for its work” (Sunder cited in Antle and Sunder, 2007). The professional status of accountancy has also been challenged by many accountants. For example, the accountant David Logan at the IRIS World Event arranged at Twickenham warned the fellows that accountancy is increasingly becoming a trade rather than a profession; “I used to have seven audits, but I could do 95% of my business without being registered. We’re competing with anybody who can set up as a bookkeeper. If someone is made redundant and sets up on their own, you can’t compete with that” (Logan cited in Stokdyk, 2012). The recent changes made to the audit exemption criteria have made things even worse as the firms have started to do the works of accountancy without an accountant. These days, many large companies do such works as filing the accounts and bookkeeping without the help of accountants and still no objections are raised by the government (Stokdyk, 2012). Although the government provides business with the relaxation of red tape, yet the accountants are facing restrictions from various avenues for making income. Another accountant Paul Scholes encouraged ...Show more


Although the status of accountancy as a profession was started to be challenged around the start of the 20th century, yet for the most part, accountants in the 20th century were organized into a kind of profession that was self-governing…
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