Elad, Charles Mfontem
Influences on the harmonisation of accounting and disclosure in Cameroon.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Pressures for the harmonisation of accounting practice in Cameroon arose out of UDEAC Acts which had already been incorporated into Cameroon law and required all companies in the Anglophone and Francophone provinces of the country to adopt the OCAM Plan, a variant of the continental European uniform accounting systems.
The aim of this study is threefold: (i) to assess whether or not the characteristic features of the OCAM Plan are compatible with indigenous cultural values; (ii) to investigate the implementation problems associated with the OCAM Plan; and (iii) an inquiry into the factors which affect compliance with the Plan's extensive mandatory disclosures by domestic and transnational companies.
The research design involved some degree of triangulation - i.e. both qualitative (case study) and positivist (questionnaire survey) modes of inquiry were used to study the same problem. The findings of the case studies and questionnaire survey indicate a broad dichotomy between the accounting values of the Anglophones on the one hand and those of the Francophones on the other. These results led to the conclusion that, by and large, the advantages or disadvantages of the OCAM Plan are not absolute as suggested in the literature. Rather, the way in which individuals of different backgrounds perceive its pros and cons seem largely dependent on their own accounting sub-culture values.
Overall, the results indicate that the design of the Plan is more positively in tune with the accounting values of the French/Francophone Cameroonian groups than those of their Anglo-American/Anglophone Cameroonian counterparts. Whilst this appears inconsistent with the linkage between accounting and societal values postulated by Gray (1988) and the cultural determinism models enunciated by some scholars (e.g. Perera, 1989; Belkaoui, 1990; Belkaoui and Picur, 1991), the mismatch was explained in terms of some ecological and institutional influences within a cybernetic paradigm. (Now unrestricted)
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