The Development of Accounting Standards and Practices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Al-Amari, Saleh Rashed (1989) The Development of Accounting Standards and Practices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The objective of this thesis is to make a contribution towards achieving a greater understanding of the process of accounting development in a developing country, and to achieve greater awareness and understanding of the influences brought to bear on this process within the specific environment of Saudi Arabia. This understanding covers a wide range of issues which include, among others, understanding accounting and reporting practices; accounting regulation and policy making; influences and factors; professional motivation; problem areas; and more recent developments. Towards this objective, a combination of research methodological procedures has been employed in this thesis. These methodological procedures comprise a survey of accounting and reporting practices, and a Delphi exercise. These methodological procedures are consistent with, and complementary to, each other. 30 corporate annual reports of Saudi joint stock corporations have been examined, incorporating information on the type of financial statements presented; the format used; the items reflected; accounting policy disclosure; the format and content of auditors' reports; and many other accounting and reporting issues. 52 experts ranging from academics and public accountants to practicing accountants in government, industry, and banking participated in the final phase of the Delphi study, incorporating their opinions and perceptions regarding professional development, professional motivation, problem areas, and problem resolution. The results of this study are summarised in 18 opinions and 10 conclusions. The conclusions of this study contribute towards a better understanding of accounting development in Saudi Arabia and developing countries in general. In this respect, the more recent privatisation and development programmes in the Kingdom have not yet attained a requisite level to exercise sufficient pressure for the development of an accounting and reporting system of regulation. Consequently, disclosure is still generally perceived to be low, and the auditor's ability to maintain his independent professional status is impaired without adequate legal or professional protection and/or sanctions. The low level of disclosure and the relative lack of independence are both reinforced by local traditions: of informal business dealings and informal methods of obtaining important information on the one hand, and of personalisation, mutual protection and the desire for job security on the other. As a result, the accounting profession's development suffers from a lack of enthusiasm and direction on the part of its members, a situation which is evident from members' apparent contentment with accounting as it is presently practiced or rather, their reliance on government initiatives and directions. These factors, together with many others, such as problems of enforcement, institutional support, and professional educational deficiencies, render the development of accounting along the lines of developments in Anglo-Saxon countries extremely difficult at the present time.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Accounting, Middle Eastern studies
Date of Award: 1989
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1989-77956
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2020 12:09
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2020 12:09

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