Title: The perceived need for and impediments to achieving accounting transparency in developing countries: a field investigation on Bangladesh

Authors: Mohammad Nurunnabi, A.K.M. Waresul Karim, Simon Norton

Addresses: University of Edinburgh Business School, University of Edinburgh, 8 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9LW, UK. ' School of Economics and Business Administration, Saint Mary's College of California, P.O. Box 4230, Moraga, CA 94575, USA. ' Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Aberconway Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU, UK

Abstract: This paper seeks to draw the current picture of accounting transparency, the obstacles to achieving it, and the way forward for developing countries in general, and Bangladesh in particular. Interviews of preparers, users and standard setters in Bangladesh comprise the main source of data for this study. Twenty-seven initial interviews were conducted followed by twenty follow-up interviews. The paper concludes that while regulation is important in achieving accounting transparency, it is also a function of corporate culture that is unlikely to change overnight. Unless there is increased pressure from the forces on the ground (via shareholder activism or lender pressure) transparency cannot be achieved by regulation alone. There is also a need to tighten the auditing profession and improve regulatory oversight of the SEC. Policy prescriptions put forward in this paper could provide a framework for dealing with similar problems in other developing countries as well.

Keywords: accounting transparency; developing countries; Bangladesh; standard setters; regulation; corporate culture; shareholder activism; lender pressure; auditing; auditors; regulatory oversight; SEC; government policies; Securities and Exchange Commission; USA; United States; managerial accounting; financial accounting.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMFA.2011.038363

International Journal of Managerial and Financial Accounting, 2011 Vol.3 No.1, pp.32 - 54

Available online: 01 Feb 2011 *

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