As per Hines in the “Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 2 (2). Pp.72-92, the professional accountants has the most gain from the development of conceptual framework because their work is now independently recognized, different from other professions such as law, engineers. As per the conceptual framework, expertise in accounting professionals are those who possess the formal knowledge base which helps to define individual, situation, predict consequences, make decisions, and derive practices and standards. Conceptual framework gives the social constructionist perspective rather than functionalist perspective of expertise in profession which is used as a political resource in reducing the government intervention and competing with other groups in order to maintain and increase social mobility and professionalization.
Hines has defined the progress of accounting profession from a penmanship, where accountants were regarded as keeping the cost records with pen and counter, basically a good book-keeper to professional accountant different from all other profession due to the development of the conceptual framework. Below are some of the benefits identified by Hines in his journal which compares and contrasts to the general advantages of conceptual framework:
• In the past accounting system, it was difficult to find homogeneity in the works of accountants from different fields and different transactions due to which accountants were not held accountable for their works and even their work was not clear to the public mind. But conceptual framework holds the accountant accountable and clear to the work they are doing as well as the standards facilitates even the public to understand the accounting works.
• Conceptual framework helps to establish equality and distinctiveness from the legal profession as the accounting profession requires common sense, diligence, honesty, respectability, etc. It also helps to overcome the loss of attributes, which causes threat to the successful advancement or social reproduction of the profession.
• The accounting knowledge are easy to be articulated by the users of accounting information also besides professional accountants as conceptual framework prescribes standard formats of accounting which obtains legitimacy of accounting standards, and standards not derived from perceived body of knowledge but from due process procedures.
• Conceptual framework enhances comparability, completeness and consistency as necessary qualities of accounting information.
• Having conceptual framework as a backbone of accounting professionals, it continues to operate in a way that protects their franchise and ensures credible financial statements. The expertise, authority and independence of auditors can be questioned if there is any audit failures.
• Conceptual Framework acts as a political resource in the conflict over control of occupational territory when accountants are competing with other groups, combating government intervention, securing the generation of work by the government action and lobbying for control of it, because CF recognises the appearance and image of accounting knowledge.
• In contrast conceptual framework projects are specific to the countries in which accountants have succeeded to a substantial degree in their professionalization project, are largely self-regulates and have achieved a monopoly in audit work and near monopoly over many other areas and command positions of significant control over the appropriation of capital and allocation of resources.
• Conceptual frameworks are used as a strategic resource in competition with other groups which are pursuing professionalization and threatening the autonomy and monopoly of entrenched organisation.
The primary purpose for the development of Conceptual Framework is to enhance the development of unique accounting standards. The important rationale for undertaking Conceptual Framework was not functional or technical. It was a strategic plan for providing validity to standard-setting boards and the accounting profession during periods of competition or threatened government intervention.
...(download the rest of the essay above)