Accounting Has Been Nothing if Not a Essay

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Accounting has been nothing if not a dynamic, global discipline over the last two decades. The role of the accountant has changed dramatically during that time and will continue to do so -- as will the nature of the challenges that the accounting profession faces"

Over the past twenty years, the modern business community has been faced with the challenges of globalization, the new predominance of technology in business affairs, and the creation of a service-based 'knowledge economy' versus a manufacturing-based one. The profession of accounting has had to adapt to this new environment. "Business internationalization and globalization has facilitated the transfer of capital and information across national borders, with economic power residing in holders of particular knowledge sets. Business and management location is becoming increasingly irrelevant and management and accounting work is becoming multidisciplinary" (Parker 2002).

Globalization has lead to more uniform regulations in accounting. Until recently, U.S. accountants for multinationals had to understand the differences between international accounting ethics and GAAP guidelines within their own nation. However, most publically-traded U.S. companies will have to adopt international standards under current SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) regulations by 2014 (GAAP's last stand, 2011, Periso). The adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) even in the U.S., which formerly favored the domestic standards of GAAP, is an illustration of America's acknowledgement of the need to create a more homogeneous set of principles and guidelines worldwide.
The drive towards globalization is partially rooted in the expansion of information technology. IT has made accounting procedures more efficient than ever before -- a welcome development given complexity of modern commerce and regulations, particularly in the wake of numerous recent accounting scandals. "Information technology change is also bringing with it electronic commerce, virtual organizations, expanded scope information transfer assurance services, and the movement of business information systems professionals into advisory and decision-making roles" (Parker 2002). But technology poses a potential threat to the profession, given the lower-level accounting procedures are increasingly being adopted by non-accounting firms: "Financial planners, banks, and other finance companies are moving into the accounting marketplace, while some large and medium sized accounting practices have largely abandoned their CPA or CA designation in favor of presenting themselves as multidisciplinary business advisors" (Parker 2002).

Another notable recent change has been the embrace of what has come to be called the 'knowledge economy.' It is perhaps in this sphere, more so than any others that accounting philosophy reflects changing views about the nature of modern enterprise. For example, once human beings were regarded merely as costs rather than as assets. Since the 1970s, "largely unconcerned with valuation issues, human resource costing and accounting focused on the development of financial information that clearly communicated the significance of people as an organizational resource" (Roslender & Stevenson 2009: 857). The growing interest in….....

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