The accounting is a product of the environment where it is inserted
(Perera, 1989). In this sense, several researchers have focused on the
causes that influence the systems and accounting practices (Baydoun and
Willett, 1995; Belkaoui, 1982; Doupnik and Salter, 1995, Hofstede, 1980,
Gray, 1988; Nobes, 1983), registering, among others, factors of
political, economic, legal, cultural, etc., sources. These factors are
often seen as a difficulty to the actual comparability of financial
information between countries or, in other words, as a difficulty to the
further international harmonization of Accounting. This argument is
supported by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the
organization that leads the movement of harmonization. In the preface of
its Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial
Statements, it is noted the existence of different international
standards which have probably been caused by a variety of social,
economic and legal circumstances and by different countries having in
mind the needs of different users of financial statements when setting
the national requirements (IASB: 1989). Among the factors presented, the
culture has deserved much of the attention of researchers who focused on
the influences of various environmental factors on the systems and
practices of international accounting. Since the hypothesis launched by
Gray (1988), commonly pointed as a pioneer in this research field,
numerous studies have emerged in an attempt to uncover the relationship
between cultural values of accounting and professional judgment, both in
terms of the preparers (Fah, 2008; Tsakumis, 2007) and in view of the
auditors (Hope et al, 2008; Gul and Tsui, 1993).
In this context, one of the most visible effects of the influence
of culture on professional judgment in the scope of accounting is the
balance between of the qualitative characteristics of financial
information that assumes more importance in each specific case (Baydoun
and Willett, 1994; Obaidat, 2007). According to IASB Framework, a
trade-off between qualitative characteristics is often necessary.
Generally the aim is to achieve an appropriate balance among the
characteristics in order to meet the objective of financial statements.
The relative importance of the characteristics in different cases is a
matter of professional judgment (IASB: 1989).
Harmonization provides comparability of financial information, and
there is no doubt that this is its main advantage, since it promotes a
significant compatibility between the international accounting
practices, thus limiting and narrowing the range in which the conceptual
differences tend to be accepted. Possible conflicts tend to be
eliminated, and new positions will be incorporated by the majority of
its members (Tarca: 2004). More than 100 countries now require or permit
the use of IFRS or are converging with IFRS (IASB:2009). The previous
accounting systems of countries that integrate the harmonization
process, give rise to new structures, which mean changes, in some cases
significant, of the accounting system then in force. In fact, the more
significant these differences are, the more difficult it will be for the
countries to comply with the new adopted accounting referential (Gray,
2005; Nobes, 1998).
The influence of culture in explaining the behavior of social
systems has been recognized for some time. However, its impact on
accounting as a social system is a relatively new study field. Any
clarification on how the local values can infiltrate into the accounting
treatment and disclosure of their impact on the final financial
reporting is an important guarantee of comparability of financial
reporting. According to Perera (1989), being a product of human
activity, the accounting is constantly affected by judgments and
decisions about the application of accounting concepts and principles
applied. Under this view, the culture becomes one of the most crucial
environmental factors on the practice of accounting, particularly with
regard to norms and values shared by members of the same accounting
system (Doupnik and Salter: 1995). The importance of Framework has been
widely proclaimed not only by regulatory bodies, but also by many
researchers (Choy and King, 2005; Demski and Christensen, 2007; McGregor
and Street, 2007). Regarding in particular the formers, the stated
objectives of Framework is revealed, in special, in the need of
establishing a theoretical referential to guide the subsequent
accounting regulation, minimizing the possible existence of conflicts
and inconsistencies between the norms (FASB: 1976; IASB: 1989).
According to FASB (1978), it is the issuing board itself the main
beneficiary of the content required by the Framework, in a sense that
they serve as a support and guidance for future norms, making the
process more consensual. The Framework consider the needs of users of
information, the objectives of information, the requirements and
qualities that the information must meet to satisfy the needs of users
and objectives of information, the definition of the elements of
financial statements and the recognition and measurement criteria.
The new document, now at the discussion stage, proposes a new
approach to the qualitative characteristics, classifying them in
fundamental qualitative characteristics and enhancing qualitative
characteristics, as has been advocated in the FASB. The issues raised by
academic, professional and representative bodies of the professional
work class exposed, already in the discussion phase of the project, the
different interpretations for each of the concepts submitted for
approval by the FASB-IASB (IASB, 2007, FASB, 2008a).
This article aims to examine, based on the model designed by Gray
(1988) and in light of the concept of cultural relevance developed by
Baydoun and Willett (1995), the accounting values that affect the
judgment of Portuguese preparers to confirm or not to confirm the
position of Portugal, as proposed by Gray (1988), in the group of least
developed Latin countries, as a country with high levels of uniformity
and statutory control, secrecy and conservatism.
2. THEORETICAL REFERENTIAL
The work of Hofstede (1980) on culture is the most extensive
questionnaire of the national culture known to date (Doupnik and
Tsakumis: 2004). For Hofstede (1980), societies are influenced by
different environmental and technological factors and, therefore,
develop different social values. These, in turn, affect the
institutional processes, including, probably, the need of information of
such processes. This seems to be the support to the claim that each
culture can develop its own accounting system to serve their own needs,
separate from another group and its distinct social values.
In questionnaires conducted on the attitude of employees, collected
from approximately 116,000 employees of IBM in 39 countries, Hofstede
(1980) has identified four dimensions underlying the culture in which
each country could be located. The identified social values were:
1. The individualism versus collectivism: concerns to the
relationship between the individual and the group with collectivism or
2. Large versus small power distance: related to social inequality
and that includes the relationship of individuals with the authorities;
3. Strong versus weak aversion to risk: relates to the various ways
of dealing with uncertainty;
4. Masculinity versus femininity: concerns to the social
implications related to differences of gender in each country.
Through this perspective, Hofstede's model (1980) provides
quantitative measurements for each country. This broad sample of
quantitative data attracted many forms of crossed research that studied
the cultural differences, since the measures are seen as reliable for
use as independent variables in statistical analysis.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Based on Hofstede, Gray (1988) identified four dimensional values
in the Accounting, which can be used to define a country in the frame of
the subculture of Accounting. The theory of Gray (1988) leaves from a
theoretical model to link the culture with the Accounting, on the
understanding that the impact of culture on the values of Accounting,
and the changes that occur in that context, can be evaluated. The values
of Accounting, in turn, influence, in view of the author (Gray: 1988),
accounting practices, including how to report and disclose information,
thus creating what the literature calls, in the study of international
differences, Accounting Systems. To Gray (1988), the table above can be
used to explain differences in international accounting practices.
Thus, depending on different levels of external forces that shape
social values, the various developments of the Accounting systems
reflect and reinforce these values. These, in turn, affect the
accounting systems, since cultural factors directly influence the
development of accounting and financial information systems at the
national level (Doupnik & Tsakumis, 2004). Gray (1988) extends the
model of Hofstede (1980) when launching the idea of the existence of a
subsystem of accounting, representative of a system of values
incorporated in the primary values of society. Based on this idea, Gray
developed four accounting values, based on the model of Hofstede, which
can be represented as follows:
1. Professionalism versus statutory control: relates to the
preference of each professional for the exercise of free judgment and
for the maintenance of professional self-regulation, as opposed to
compliance with legal and regulatory requirements in force and statutory
2. Uniformity versus flexibility: related to the preference for the
application of uniform accounting practices between enterprises and the
consistent use of such practices over time, as opposed to a possible
flexibility, i.e., to act according to circumstances inherent to each
3. Conservatism versus optimism: relates to the preference for a
cautious approach in order to cope with the uncertainty of future
events, as opposed to a more optimistic view, related to the taking of
risks in the form of a less cautious approach.
4. Secrecy versus transparency: concerns to the preference for
confidentiality and restriction of the disclosure of information on the
business only to those who are intimately involved with the management
and financing business, as opposed to an approach of greater
transparency, openness and public responsibility.
The table below shows the connection between the model of cultural
values of Hofstede (1980) and the accounting values of Gray (1988),
indicating the existence of thirteen cases of relationship between the
variables of each of the models above.
The first two dimensions of the model of Gray (1988) are related to
the authority and enforcement of accounting practices, while the latter
are related to the measurement and disclosure of accounting information,
both at the internal level. The work of Gray (1988) is commonly referred
to as a pioneer in developing the idea that culture influences the
practice of accounting (Jagger and Low, 2000; Tsakumis, 2007; Zarzeski,
1996). Based on Gray (1988), Portugal is in group of least developed
countries, which means its definition in terms of accounting values as a
country with high levels of statutory control, uniformity, conservatism
and secrecy. However, Gray (1988) did not executed his hypothesis, nor
led empirical tests to obtain support for its structure, leaving it to
other researchers in the field of accounting the merit of proving its
validity. Several contributions in the literature emerged then in an
attempt to extend or refine the conceptual model of Hofstede-Gray for
understanding the influence of culture on accounting (Perera: 1989,
Fechner and Kilgore 1994; Baydoun and Willett: 1995).
A major criticism to the model of Gray (1988) and in line with the
objectives of this work was proposed by Baydoun and Willett. (1995). For
these authors, the work of Gray (1988) does not clearly define to what
extent the cultural attributes of social groups--to the detriment of the
material attributes of the accounting technology--represent their
accounting values, and with what purpose they intervene as explanatory
variables between the model of basic cultural dimensions of Hofstede
(1980) and the characteristics that are expected to be found in the
studied accounting practices. Basically, it was a relatively well-built
model, but difficult to demonstrate, based on the best evidence that we
can have: the qualitative characteristics of financial reporting.
Baydoun and Willett (1995) also state that all accounting values of the
model of Gray (1988) are defined in terms of preferences for certain
courses of action, not in terms of apparent attributes of financial
statements, such as the qualitative characteristics described in the
project of Framework proposed by the FASB (FASB, 1980).
Following this reasoning, the authors suggest an hypothesis of
relationship between the technique related to the accounting practices
and disclosure, and the qualitative characteristics of financial
information, based on three concepts from Gray's model (1988),
namely, uniformity, conservatism, and secrecy, also having as base the
concept of cultural relevance of accounting information developed in
their study (Baydoun and Willett: 1995) and absent in the work of Gray
The authors present, therefore, how the interaction between these
concepts of the model of Gray (1988) and some qualitative
characteristics proposed by the FASB (1980) could be materialized in the
financial reporting disclosed by entities. For the authors, the
uniformity as a technical feature of financial reporting include the
qualities of consistency and comparability, each acting in different
ways relevant to the question of the apparent uniformity of accounting
policies over time and uniformity of presentation of accounting
information between different reporting entities, respectively. To the
authors, the conservatism and secrecy overlap their effects, on the
other qualitative characteristics. The conservatism is most pertinent in
matters related to the quality of information disclosure and is,
therefore, associated with physical characteristics such as objectivity,
verifiability, reliability, neutrality and substance over form. These
elements determine specific questions about the form and content of
financial reporting, such as the choice of historical cost versus the
current value. The secrecy, in view of Gray (1988), may be similarly
related to the characteristics related to the quantity of the items
disclosed in the financial reporting, particularly, the presentation in
forms of aggregated or disaggregated information.
[TABLE 2 OMITTED]
Therefore, it relates to the analysis of the attributes of
responsibility (accountability) and the usefulness of the decision
(decision usefulness). These concepts relate to concerns about the
standards of disclosure, focused on the user and on the nature of the
reporting entity, issues that, in view of these authors, "are not
clearly addressed in the original model of Gray (1980)" Baydoun and
Willett (1995). It should be noted that Baydoun and Willett (1995),
similar to Gray (1988), not operationalized their hypothesis. However,
this paper is based on an empirical study conducted years later by
Chanchani and Willett (2004), based on the model of Gray (1998) and
following of developments proposed by Baydoun and Willett (1995).
The collection of primary data was carried out by indirect
observation, namely through questionnaires directed to Portuguese
preparers of financial statements. Many similar studies in this field,
particularly the studies related to the evaluation of environmental
influence on the professional judgment, used the questionnaire as a
primary research method (Chanchani e Willett, 2004; Fah, 2008; IASB,
2008; Ngaire, 2006; Obaidat: 2007; Olimidt e Calu, 2007; Tsakumis,
2007). The questionnaire was subjected to a pre-test driven and
motivated by the following objectives:
(1) Identification of matters outside the scope of this
(2) identifying issues unclear or poorly made;
(3) Analysis of primary data in order to assess whether there is an
appropriate relationship between the variables and assumptions defined
in this study.
The pre-test questionnaire allowed fully complies with the
objectives previously defined. This process resulted in the
reformulation and even elimination of some questions which include
issues of environment.
Considering the study plan specified above, we set the following
hypothesis: Hypothesis (H1): Portuguese preparers have high levels of
uniformity, conservatism, secrecy and statutory control, which confirms
the classification of Portugal in the group of the least developed Latin
countries, as proposed by Gray (1988).
The questionnaire, composed by a total of 16 issues of analysis, is
divided into four groups, each group representing one of the accounting
value of Gray (1988) analyzed in this study. The design of this part of
the questionnaire is based on the questionnaire developed for the same
purpose by Chanchani and Willett (2004). The authors mention in their
study that Gray (1988) contributed actively in the development of the
questionnaire. In the tables below are presented in synthetic terms, the
four groups of issues representing the accounting values of Gray (1988)
proposed in the questionnaire:
The scale used in the questionnaire was based on Likert-type scale
1-5 values, from "strongly disagree" (1) to "strongly
agree" (5). As an object of study, the universe of analysis
included preparers, as key intervenient in the process of the
preparation of financial information and the auditors, as primarily
responsible for issuing an opinion on the true and fair view of the
disclosed financial information. The questionnaire was distributed among
OTOC (Ordem dos Tecnicos Oficiais de Contas) members, the organization
responsible for regulating the accounting profession in Portugal. The
disclosure of the questionnaire includes the first semester of 2009 and
the data were collected from a sample of 382 Accounting Technicians
(TOC). The data collected were then submitted to multivariate analysis.
The table above shows the main data on sample data and other
statistical analysis that formed the basis of this study.
To calculate the sample size, we used the method suggested by Arkin
(1982), by applying the following formula:
n = p(1 - p)/[(SE/Z).sup.2] + p(1 - p)/N
By applying the above formula and based on parameters defined in
the table, the sample collected for this study satisfies the criteria
defined by Arkin (1982) concerning the minimum size required.
4. ANALYSIS OF RESULTS
According to the classification proposed by Gray (1988), Portugal
is part of the group of the least developed Latin countries, which means
in terms of accounting values that is a country with high levels of
statutory control, uniformity, conservatism and secrecy.
To test the hypothesis H1, based on a model developed by Chanchani
and Willett (2004), we used two multivariate analysis techniques, namely
the reliability analysis and the factor analysis. The same techniques
were used by Chanchani and Willlett (2004) in a similar study whose
sample was composed by users and preparers of financial information in
India and New Zealand.
The table below shows, in the first column, the accounting values
of the Gray's model (1988) analyzed in this study. In the second
are listed to each group of the four related issues the one proposed
accounting value. The third column shows the Cronbach's alpha
The lines of the table above have been repositioned in terms of
increased Cronbach's alpha found. Thus the issues I.6, I.9, I.11
and I.13, related to uniformity, have the highest value of the
Cronbach's alpha (0.680). The issues I.2, I.4, I.12 and I.16,
related to statutory control, have a Cronbach's alpha of 0.634 and
the issues I.3, I.8, I.10 and I.15, identified with the secrecy, have a
Cronbach's alpha of 0.495. Finally, the issues I.1, I.5, I.7 and
I.14, proposals for conservatism, performed most poorly in terms of
Cronbach's alpha (with a Cronbach's alpha of 0.493). Chanchani
and Willett (2004) pointed out the impossibility of comparing
Cronbach's alpha found in their study with the values obtained for
the same indicator. However, the low values for Cronbach's alpha
found in Chanchani e Willett (2004) did not prevent the study to
continue, together with the factor analysis also carried. It is also
important to mention the fact that in this paper are higher than the
Cronbach's alpha found in Chanchani and Willett (2004), other than
the accounting value of uniformity. Even so, the use of reliability
analysis is important to establish the identification for each of the
four sets of issues with the latent variables.
The table 6 shows the five factors extracted from factor analysis
carried out, explaining 60.94% of the total variance, value also higher
than the 49% found in the study of Chanchani and Willett (2004). The
first factor explains approximately 13,72% of the total variance. The
second and third factor explain 10,21%, and the subsequent factors
explain, respectively, 9,18%, 9,09% and 8,51% of the total variance.
Except the first and second factors, all results related to variances
explained found in this study are higher than those found by Chanchani
and Willett (2004).
The table 7 shows the factor analysis performed on sixteen issues
presented in the questionnaire, related to the accounting value proposed
by Gray (1988).
From the analysis presented in the table 7, it appears that the
first factor includes three issues related to the accounting value of
statutory control (I.2, I.12 and I.16), with higher incidence for two
issues (I.12 and I.16), related to the control by professional
organizations. It reduces, however, with regard to issue I.2, related to
the strengthening of regulatory frameworks in professional practice. The
second and third factor includes two issues of uniformity each, related
to standardization of financial reporting (I.6) and indiscrimination
application of Framework (I.13), in the second factor, and
immutabilities of accounting policies and elimination of alternatives
treatments, in the third factors. The fourth factor includes more
strongly two issues identified with secrecy (I.3 and I.10), related to
dissemination of financial reporting and increased disclosure
requirements, respectively. The fifth factor in turn includes two issues
identified with conservantism (I.5 and 1, 14), related to reliability of
market values and verifiability of fair value, respectively. Finally,
the last factor includes two issues (I.7 and I.8) of secrecy and
conservantism, respectively, the first of these related to association
between financial reporting and corporate strategy and following on the
association between judgment and the qualitative characteristics.
The scree plot graph helps to identify the factors that are more
relevant in explaining the variance. The graphic shows that there is a
greater power in explaining the variance from the first to the second
factor, decreasing gradually until the sixth factor, when there is a
sharper fall in the slope of the curve.
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
Thus, based on the results presented above, we note that the
uniformity and statutory control is the accounting values that present
the highest levels of identification among the issues on the basis of
reliability analysis (Cronbach's alpha). It is also observed that
Portuguese preparers accept more easily the control which is exercised
by the professional organization at the expense of State supervision.
The Cronbach's alpha found for the secrecy is closely
following the same indicator obtained for conservatism. The factor
analysis, in turn, favors in the sixth factor the relationship between
two questions: the first concerns the association between the financial
reporting and corporate strategy while the following points to the
association between the judgment and the qualitative characteristics or,
in other words, the factor analysis favors the connection between the
accounting value of conservatism and secrecy.
The accounting value of conservatism has the lowest Cronbach's
alpha. The factor analysis, in turn, favors in the fifth factor the
relationship between two questions, both strongly linked to reliability
of market value and verifiability of fair value. Such questions
indicate, in other words, a lower predisposition of risk-taking in the
The results of this study found strong support for the accounting
value of statutory control and uniformity and a reasonable support for
values relating to conservatism and secrecy, rejecting the hypothesis
under study. The statutory control appears more closely related to the
need felt by professionals, increased monitoring by professional
organizations, including the creation of barriers to entry, rather than
the control exercised by the government. The uniformity is very closely
associated with issues relating to the immutability of the accounting
policies and the elimination of alternative treatments, both with the
qualitative characteristic of comparability and its elements, which
includes consistency. An attitude of transparency is more robust than
its opposite. However, It was a concern identified further strengthened
with regard to the amount of information disclosed, examples of which
are the dissemination of financial reporting and increase of disclosure
requirements, to the detriment of the quality of information disclosed,
as exemplified by disclosure of non-use of a qualitative
characteristics. Similarly, we found also a link between the book value
of conservatism and secrecy, suggesting the recognition by professionals
of the importance of reliability and verifiability of the information
contained in financial reporting. Finally, relatively to the accounting
value of conservatism, this study confirm a low susceptibility of
Portuguese prepares to take risks related to professional practice,
particularly as regards issues related to reliability of measurement
based on market values The results of this study, despite its
limitations, do not support the hypothesis. The significant changes
experienced by Portugal in recent years, in a context of greater
openness, may be pointed as sources of a repositioning or change in the
values of professional institutions related to accounting.
This study, however, focused on the study of accounting values as
proposed by Gray (1988), without proposing to investigate the factors
that are the cause of cultural change within the subculture of
Accounting, or the existence of new values accounting related to such
This study has some limitations. The first limitation to be
mentioned concerns the small number of issues presented in the
questionnaire. That would have helped to identify a less strengthened
between the issues and values that sought to analyze records. This same
limitation was reported by Chanchani and Willett (2005). The
difficulties inherent to the process of conducting a questionnaire made
this study maintained the same number of questions proposed by those
authors. Similarly, studies surrounding the cultural values and
professional judgment present a very subjective factor and insuperable
should also be referenced here. The relative absence of empirical
studies on the theory of cultural relevance proposed by Gray (1988), in
the light of developments Baydoun and Willett (1995), it was revealed
particularly in the national context another limiting factor for the
development of this paper. A similar situation was observed with regard
to studies that surround the issue of professional judgment from
different perspectives and in the specific context of accounting related
to the quality of information. The study of international differences in
accounting is important for countries and organizations involved in
international accounting harmonization, given that the cultural factor
and its effect within the subculture of accounting should not be
neglected (IASB: 1989, CNC: 2003).
Even at an advanced stage of the harmonization process it is hoped
that this and other studies in this field of research to continue to
provide the necessary support to decision-making by issuing
international standards, as well as by national authorities for the
subscription of such standards.
Understand the impact and implications of the concepts related to
accounting practice, based on professional judgment, contributes to the
objectives behind the process of harmonization, in particular, the
effective comparability of financial reporting at the international
level can be more easily achieved.
Since the ratings given by Gray (1988) to Portugal, significant
changes have been experienced, which focuses on the consolidation of the
country within the EU, greater openness to the outside, the
strengthening of international relations, and in the field of accounting
the deepening of their role in international harmonization. Since
culture is a factor changing over time, further research could focus on
the factors that are the cause of cultural change, its effects within
the subculture of accounting and, more specifically, within the values
defined for accounting professionals.
Further studies could relate more directly the hypothesis raised by
this paper, namely the relationship of the accounting values with the
importance given by professionals to the qualitative characteristics and
constraints to information or even the professionals' preferences
for certain concepts and values (accounting or otherwise) that underlie
Studies in the fields of culture and trial work have examined the
relationship between specific variables of the samples, such as gender,
academic or more relevant years of professional experience with the
effects of such differences in the light of the professional judgment.
Albuquerque, F. e Almeida, M. C. (2009). A cultura, os valores
contabilisticos e o julgamento profissional dos preparadores
portugueses. APOTEC: Premio Luiz Chaves de Almeida.
Arkin, H. (1982). Sampling Methods for The Auditor An Advanced
Treatment. New York: McGram Hill.
Baydoun, N. e Willett, R. (1995). Cultural relevance of western
accounting systems to developing countries. Abacus. 31, 67-92.
Belkaoui, A. (1982). Judgment related issues in performance
evaluation. Journal of Business Finance and Accounting. 9, 489-500.
Bullen, H. e Crook, K. (2005). A New Conceptual Framework Project:
Revisiting the Concepts. Disponivel em
http://www.fasb.org/project/communications paper.pdf. Ultimo acesso em
10 de Abril de 2009.
CNC [Comissao de Normalizacao Contabilistica]. (2003). Projecto de
linhas de orientacao para um novo modelo de normalizacao contabilistica.
Lisboa. Acedido em 2008-02-10, em
Chanchani, S. e. MacGregor, A. (1999) A synthesis of cultural
studies in accounting. Journal of Accounting Literature. 18, 1-30.
Chanchani, S. e Willett, R. (2004). An empirical assessment of
Gray's accounting value constructs. The International Journal of
Accounting. 39, 125-154.
Douglas, P., Davidson, R. e Schwartz, B. (2001). The effect of
organization culture and ethical orientation on accountants'
ethical judgments. Journal of Business Ethics. 34, 101-121.
Doupnik, T. e Tsakumis, G. (2004). A Critical Review of the Tests
of Gray's Theory of Cultural Relevance and Suggestions for Future
Research. Journal of Accounting Literature. 23, 1-30.
Eddie, A. (1990). Asia Pacific cultural values and accounting
systems. Asia Pacific International Management Forum. 16, 22-30.
Fah, F. (2008). A Cross-Cultural Study of Accounting Concepts
Applied in international Financial Reporting Standards. A thesis
submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor Of
FASB [Financial Accounting Standards Board]. (1976). Scope and
Implications of the Conceptual Framework Project, Connecticut.
FASB [Financial Accounting Standards Board]. (1978). Statement of
financial accounting concepts no. 1: Objectives of financial reporting
by business enterprises, Connecticut. http://www.fasb.org/pdf/con1.pdf.
FASB [Financial Accounting Standards Board]. (1980). Statement of
financial accounting concepts no. 2: Qualitative characteristics of
accounting information. Connecticut. http://www.fasb.org/pdf/con2.pdf.
FASB [Financial Accounting Standards Board]. (2004). Response to
SEC Study on the Adoption of a Principles-Based Accounting System.
FASB [Financial Accounting Standards Board]. (2006). Financial
Accounting Series: Preliminary Views. Connecticut.
FASB [Financial Accounting Standards Board]. (2008). Conceptual
framework: Joint project of the IASB and FASB. Project Information Page.
FASB [Financial Accounting Standards Board]. (2008a). Financial
Accounting Series: Exposure Draft. Connecticut. http://www.fasb.org/
Fechner, H. e Kilgore, A. (1994). The influence of cultural factors
on accounting practice. The International Journal of Accounting. 29,
Gray, S. (1988). Towards a theory of cultural influence on the
development of accounting systems internationally. Abacus. 24, 1-15.
Gray, S. e Vint, H. (1995). The impact of culture on accounting
disclosures: some international evidence. Asian-Pacific Journal of
Accounting. 21, 33-43.
Hill, M. and Hill, A. (2008). Investigacao por questionario. (2nd
Edition). Lisboa: Edicoes Silabo.
Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture's consequences: International
differences in workrelated values. London: Sage Publications.
Hope, O. (2003). Firm-level disclosures and the relative roles of
culture and legal origin. Journal of International Financial Management
and Accounting. 14, 218-248.
Hope, O. et al. (2008). Culture and auditor choice: A test of the
secrecy hypothesis. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy. 27,
IASB [International Accounting Standards Board]. (1989). Framework
for the preparation and presentation of financial statements. Londres.
Jaggi, B. and Low, P. (2000). Impact of culture, market forces, and
legal system on financial disclosures. The International Journal of
Accounting. 35, 495-519.
McGregor, W. e Street, D. (2007). IASB and FASB Face Challenges in
Pursuit of Joint Conceptual Framework. Journal of International
Financial Management & Accounting. 18, 39-51.
Nobes, C. (1983). A judgmental international classification of
financial reporting practices. Journal of Business Finance and
Accounting. 10, 1-19.
Nobes, C. (1998). Towards a general model of the reasons for
international differences in financial reporting. Abacus. 34, 162-187.
Perera, M. 1989. Towards a framework to analyze the impact of
culture on accounting. The International Journal of Accounting. Vol. 24:
Radebaugh, L., Gray, S. e Black, E. (1996). International
accounting and multinational enterprises. (6th ed.). New Jersey: John
Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Salter, S. e Niswander, F. (1995). Cultural influence on the
development of accounting systems internationally: a test of Gray's
(1988) theory. Journal of International Business Studies. Vol. 26:
Tarca, A. (2004). International convergence of accounting
practices: Choosing between IAS and US GAAP. Journal of International
Financial Management and Accounting. 15, 60-91.
Tsakumis, G. (2007). The influence of culture on accountants'
application of financial reporting rules. Abacus. 43, 27-48.
Zarzeski, M. (1996). Spontaneous harmonization effects of culture
and market forces on accounting disclosure practices. Accounting
Horizons. 10, 18-37.
Fabio de Albuquerque, Instituto Politecnico de Lisboa, Lisboa,
Maria do Ceu Almeida, Instituto Politecnico de Lisboa, Lisboa,
Joaquin Quiros, Universidade de Extremadura, Badajos, Espanha
TABLE 4: ISSUES RELATED TO ACCOUNTING VALUES.
The Professional Judgement of Accounting Technicians (TOC)
1. Using the scale below, indicate to what extent you
agree or disagree with each statement below:
strongly disagree strongly agree
1 2 3 4 5
1.1. In case of doubt, the assessment by the lowest R = [ ]
available value requires the faithful representation
of an economic phenomenon
1.2. If there is conflict between IAS/IFRS and the R = [ ]
IASB Framework, the IAS/IFRS prevail in any
circumstance on the Framework
1.3. The financial report must be available to the R = [ ]
general public, not just to a select group of
1.4. The Accounting Technicians (TOC) profession in R = [ ]
Portugal should be under the direct control of the
1.5. The market value is generally less reliable than R = [ ]
historical cost, even more relevant
1.6. The statutory financial reporting should follow R = [ ]
a standard format for all entities
1.7. The information that could compromise the R = [ ]
organization's strategy should not be disclosed in the
statutory financial reporting
1.8. The Accounting Technicians (TOC) must decide,
based on professional judgement, the qualitative R = [ ]
characteristics that reflect the true and fair view of
statutory financial reporting
1.9. Accounting policies, once chosen, should not be R = [ ]
changed in any case.
1.10. The disclosure requirements set out in statutory R = [ ]
financial reporting standards should be increased
1.11. Alternative treatments prescribed by the IASB R = [ ]
accounting standards should be eliminated
1.12. The Accounting Technicians (TOC) profession in R = [ ]
Portugal should be more heavily regulated
1.13. The IASB Framework should apply to all entities, R = [ ]
independently of sector of activity or size
1.14. The fair value of an asset, if applicable, must R = [ ]
always be supported by external documentation
1.15. The failure or omission of any use of a R = [ ]
qualitative characteristic of information must always
1.16. The mechanisms of access to the Accounting R = [ ]
Technicians (TOC) profession in Portugal should be
subject to greater scrutiny by the Professional
SOURCE: BASED IN CHANCHANI AND WILLETT (2004).
TABLE 1: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CULTURAL VALUES OF HOFSTEDE
(1980) AND THE ACCOUNTING VALUES OF GRAY (1988).
SOURCE: RADEBAUGH AND GRAY (1993).
RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN GRAY S ACCOUNTING DIMENSIONS
AND HOFSTEDE'S CULTURAL DIMENSIONS
Accounting values (Gray)
(Hofstede) Professionalism Uniformity Conservatism Secrecy
Power Distance - + ? +
Avoidance - + + +
Individualism + - - -
Masculinity ? ? - -
Note: '+' indicates a direct relationship between the relevant
variables; '-' indicates an inverse relationship. Question marks
indicate that the nature of the relationship Is in determinate.
TABLE 3: MAIN DATA ON SAMPLE AND OTHER STATISTICAL ANALYSIS.
Sample size and population and other statistical analysis:
Preparers (sample): n1 382
Preparers (population): N1 75.160
Significance level 0,05
SE=Standard Erros 5%
p = Sucess probability 50%
Software used SPSS 13.0
Timing of the questionnaire 1[degrees] S de 2009
(including the pre-test)
TABLE 5: RELIABILITY ANALYSIS. SOURCE: RESULTS FOUND BY AUTHORS.
Gray (1988) Related issues Cronbach's alpha
Uniformity I.6, I.9, e I.13 0,680
Statutory control I.2, I.4, I.12 e I.16 0,634
Secrecy I.3, I.8, I.10 e I.15 0,495
Conservantism I.1, I.5, I.7 e I.14 0,493
TABLE 6: TOTAL VARIANCE EXPLAINED.
Total Variance Explained
(Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis)
Component Total % of Variance Cumulative %
1 3,094 19,337 19,337
2 1,748 10,926 30,264
3 1,450 9,060 39,323
4 1,292 8,075 47,398
5 1,099 6,866 54,265
6 1,068 6,674 60,939
7 ,958 5,985 66,924
8 ,824 5,149 72,073
9 ,793 4,956 77,029
10 ,718 4,486 81,516
11 ,661 4,128 85,644
12 ,595 3,717 89,361
13 ,563 3,521 92,882
14 ,473 2,955 95,837
15 ,389 2,429 98,265
16 ,278 1,735 100,000
Extraction Sums of Squared Loadings
Component Total % of Variance Cumulative %
1 2,195 13,720 13,720
2 1,635 10,218 23,938
3 1,635 10,218 34,156
4 1,469 9,180 43,337
5 1,455 9,092 52,428
6 1,362 8,511 60,939
SOURCE: RESULTS FOUND BY AUTHORS.
TABLE 7: FACTORIAL RESULTS. SOURCE: RESULTS FOUND BY AUTHORS.
Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.
Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis.
Rotated component matrix 1 2 3
I.1 Prudence and faithful representation -0,208 0,314 0,137
I.2 Conflict between the Standards and 0,723 -0,026 0,146
I.3 Dissemination of financial reporting -0,131 0,112 -0,070
1.4 Government control over the 0,227 0,401 -0,136
I.5 Reliability of market values 0,109 -0,209 0,024
I.6 Standardization of financial 0,338 0,644 -0,061
I.7 Financial reporting and corporate -0,50 0,062 0,025
I.8 Judgment and the qualitative 0,045 0,146 0,049
I.9 Immutabilities of accounting policies 0,145 0,001 0,683
I.10 Increased of disclosure requirements 0,155 0,266 0,288
Elimination of alternatives -0,210 0,083 0,785
1.12 Regulation of the profession 0,761 0,355 0,010
I.13 Indiscrimination application 0,049 0,735 0,164
I.14 Verifiability of fair value 0,075 0,301 0,243
I.15 Disclosure of non-use of a 0,415 0,025 0,434
I.16 Access to the profesion 0,762 0,210 -0,161
Rotated component matrix 4 5 6
I.1 Prudence and faithful representation -0,586 0,338 0,030
I.2 Conflict between the Standards and 0,047 -0,127 0,056
I.3 Dissemination of financial reporting 0,780 0,227 -0,022
1.4 Government control over the -0,176 0,328 -0,379
I.5 Reliability of market values 0,001 0,744 0,152
I.6 Standardization of financial 0,015 0,015 0,125
I.7 Financial reporting and corporate -0,294 0,254 0,667
I.8 Judgment and the qualitative 0,191 -0,063 0,792
I.9 Immutabilities of accounting policies -0,010 0,056 0,233
I.10 Increased of disclosure requirements 0,509 0,050 0,100
Elimination of alternatives -0,050 0,000 -0,074
1.12 Regulation of the profession 0,058 0,146 -0,059
I.13 Indiscrimination application 0,120 -0,081 0,099
I.14 Verifiability of fair value 0,231 0,544 -0,065
I.15 Disclosure of non-use of a 0,164 0,342 -0,114
I.16 Access to the profesion -0,042 0,309 -0,051