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1∗ What effects have the major political events in the world since the end of the Second World War had on accounting and financial reporting? 2∗ Why have the major accounting firms become ‘international’? From what countries have they mainly originated? Why? 3 What major contributions to accounting and its terminology have been made historically by the following countries: Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan? 22 .. 4 Which are the top three developed countries in respect of each of: (a) share of the world’s top 500 companies; (b) number of qualified accountants; (c) market capitalization of stock exchange?

Several factors that seem linked to the differences in accounting systems are now examined. These are not necessarily causes of the differences; they might be results, as will be discussed later. 2 Culture Clearly, accounting is affected by its environment, including the culture of the country in which it operates. Hofstede (1980) develops a model of culture as the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one human group from another. Hofstede argues that, much as a computer operating system contains a set of rules that acts as a reference point and a set of constraints to higher-level programs, so culture includes a set of societal values that drives institutional form and practice.

The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of interdependence that a society maintains among individuals. 2 Large versus small power distance. Power distance is the extent to which the members of a society accept that power in institutions and organizations is distributed unequally. People in societies that have large power distance accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place which needs no further justification. The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is how society handles inequalities among people when they occur.

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