The development of accountancy profession in a centralised state: the case of Brazil , Southampton, UK University of Southampton
(Discussion Papers in Accounting & Finance, CRAAG-10-02).
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The political history of Brazil includes a period of colonization by the Portuguese, the establishment of an imperial court, a period of rule by various military juntas, dictatorship and democracy. Drawing on archival based research conducted in Brazil, this study focuses on the forces that transformed the modus operandi of accountants in this country within this changing context, at times constraining and at times and providing opportunities in their quest for professional status. Perceived as a low-status occupation since colonial times, the pursuit of professional status was driven by those with superior educational qualifications as a mean of differentiating themselves from those with only practical experience. Such activity peaked between 1900 and 1946, a period of dictatorship and centralisation, and was only successful because some of the key protagonists were in positions of power within the centralised state. Unlike professional projects in the Anglo-American mode, here the emphasis was on legislating for improved educational qualifications which then provided a platform for professional organisation. Emerging as the product of such legislation, a national accounting body was created in 1946, although issues pertaining to the dedicated functions of accounting professionals and their perceived status remained unresolved.
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