Agenda setting for accounting standards in Australia is largely informal The

Agenda setting for accounting standards in australia

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Agenda setting for accounting standards in Australia is largely informal. The website of the AASB states that issues are identified by international or national organisations, individuals, and by the AASB itself (AASB 2012). There are, however, no criteria to guide this process. The investigation of the GAAP/GFS harmonisation agenda setting process will offer valuable information about the functionality of this informal process. A limited number of authors have chosen an agenda setting perspective to investigate accounting change processes and even fewer have applied this perspective to public sector accounting. Ryan considered the introduction of accrual accounting in Australia (Ryan 1995, 1998; Ryan 1999; Ryan and Dunstan 1999; Ryan et al. 2000; Ryan et al. 2007). She approached these changes from an agenda and standard setting perspective based on public policy literature. This thesis is an e xtension of Ryan’s work, both with respect to the developments in Australian public sector accounting and public sector accounting agenda setting. Ryan (1998) and Howieson (2009b) have identified a need for more sophisticated theoretical frameworks to investigate such processes. This thesis answers these calls by developing and adopting such a framework to discover how and why GAAP/GFS
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15 harmonisation happened in Australia. In particular, there were two critical events at the level of the standard setting bodies. First, the AASB decided not to pursue GAAP/GFS harmonisation as a project at its December 2002 meeting. Second, only one week later, the FRC, the AASB’s oversight body, overrode this decision and provided a broad strategic direction to the AASB to develop an accounting standard that would harmonise GAAP and GFS reporting. As a result of this strategic direction, the AASB developed accounting standard AASB 1049. The focus of this thesis is on the decision- making processes of the FRC, as it was t he FRC’s decision that paved the way for the development of the harmonised accounting standard. The consideration of GAAP/GFS harmonisation by the AASB is, however, also considered to provide a context for the FRC’s strategic direction. 1.4 METHODS AND THE DEFINITION OF THE BOUNDARIES OF THE RESEARCH PROJECT This study is a qualitative in-depth case study about the agenda setting process for GAAP/GFS harmonisation in Australia. Qualitative in-depth case studies are particularly suited for unique or exploratory cases (Eisenhardt and Graebner 2007, p. 27; Yin 2009, p. 47) or where privileged or unusual access to data is available (Davis, Eisenhardt and Bingham 2007). While findings from qualitative case studies are not usually generalisable, the quality of the research is assessed by its trustworthiness and usefulness (Lincoln and Guba 1985). To ensure trustworthiness and usefulness, a number of tools are used throughout the research project. These include a holistic research design which ensures that epistemology, theoretical assumptions and methods used to collect, analyse and interpret data are coherent.
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  • Fall '13
  • Government, The Land, International Financial Reporting Standards, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Australian Accounting Standards Board, Snow

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