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Title: An analysis of the professionalisation of accountancy in Malta
Authors: Caruana, Maria
Keywords: Accountants -- Professional ethics -- Malta
Accounting -- Malta
Career development -- Malta
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: Professionalisation is the process through which an occupation acquires certain characteristics to develop into a recognised, distinguished profession. This dissertation focuses on the foundations of accountancy as a profession in the local scenario by analysing and debating: 1. the historical developments that marked the ascendancy of accountancy into a fully-fledged profession; and 2. the challenges that characterise the practice of accountancy in today's high-octane, driven, sometimes turbulent business environment. By appreciating the journey that has characterised the ascendancy of accountancy, and taking stock of its present standing, one is in a better position to perceive where it is heading. In the process, it was possible to elicit some challenges that are inherent in the profession's endeavour to continue to capitalise on its core strengths towards further professionalisation. The basis for this research was three-fold: 1. a literature review intended to yield insights into professionalisation and related concepts; 2. an assessment of the historical gains of accountancy in the quest for professionalisation through a one-on-one with protagonists who helped shape these events; and 3. an analysis of the commonly accepted professionalisation criteria in the present-day context by taking up these issues with current CPAs through a survey and questionnaire. It was established that the expected historical developments were, in the main, secured in the course of the second-half of the twentieth century. The professionalisation of accountancy, however, retains a works-in-progress quality, mostly in view of the dynamics of the market for financial services and the pressures this tends to bring to bear. In travelling along the road towards continued profes body, the continued enhancement of the body of knowledge, the recognition of the responsibility for altruistic professional behaviour with the public interest in view, and the securing of market opportunities exclusively to members of the profession. On a more positive note, the profession enjoys a better standing in terms of ethical behaviour, the status it confers and rewards it yields, and the level of professional power it accrues. Ostensibly, the challenges might appear disquieting, referring as they do to core elements of professionalisation. It is worthwhile to highlight, however, that the study did not detect a dramatic deterioration in this respect. Nevertheless, the implication is that true, wholesale professionalism might be jeopardised and ultimately elusive, rendering less effectual the historical gains of professionalisation. The consideration that the accountancy profession has demonstrated resilience in the face of its imperfect past should provide comfort that it may still continue to do so in the future. 'Traveller,' says a Spanish proverb, 'there are no roads - roads are made by walking.'
Description: B.ACCTY.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEma - 2009
Dissertations - FacEMAAcc - 2009

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