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The management of professional enterprises and regulatory change: British accountancy and the Financial Services Act 1986

Radcliffe, Vaughan, Cooper, David J. and Robson, Keith 1994. The management of professional enterprises and regulatory change: British accountancy and the Financial Services Act 1986. Accounting Organizations and Society 19 (7) , pp. 601-628. 10.1016/0361-3682(94)90026-4

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The paper analyses the changing nature of professionalism through a study of the effects of a change in the regulatory context of the U.K. accounting profession. The emphasis is on how accountacy, as a professional project, is managed. Professions are viewed as institutions whose direction and management is influenced by movements within and between a range of constituencies and practices. we focus on confluences of actions and ideas from a variety of constituencies, including accountants, with management of the profession being achieved through the interplay and negotiations between diverse groups. The specificity of the interplay leads to a heightened awareness of the mutability of contemporaneous professional arrangments, and emphasis their malleability. it offers insight into the apparently adventitous development of accountancy in modern society. Although we present management as a means to capture more general changes in the practices and frameworks of professions, rather than just regulatory change, our argument is developed around the Financial Services Act (1986). That legislation was ostensibility intended to regulate the conduct of investment business in Britain. Accountants became involved in legislation that at first seemed, at best, to be on the periphery of their practice. The implementation of the Act involved pro-acitve monitoring of members and firms. inspectors, acitng as the agents of professional bodies, were able to enter member's practices to confirm that accountants were able adequately to conduct business that, prior to the Act, they had been held to be “fit and proper” to conduct, by virtue of their professional affiliations. This in itself may be seen as a significant expansion of professional Institutes' regulatory roles, especially since this monitoring was undertaken on behalf of government. The expansion of the regulatory role of the Institute resulted from a confluence of, inter alia, government and platforms, the range of modern professional practice and concomitant difficulties of professional governance. The result is a re-moulding of the professional. We use these develpments to illustrate how professions may be thought in terms of management and how professions change.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0361-3682
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 04:24

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