In Unshackling Accountants , Professor D R Myddelton of Cranfield School of Management looks at the history of and the arguments for and against detailed accounting standards. Myddelton concludes that, while there may be a case for the accounting profession to develop voluntary guidelines, the imposition of rigid standards is likely to prevent the art of accounting from evolving.
Myddelton believes that the argument that more regulation and more uniformity are necessary to avoid scandals such as those at Enron and WorldCom is flawed. He argues that those scandals happened at a time when accounting practices were more regulated than ever before and in jurisidictions where practices were laid down in the greatest detail. Very often, in fact, bad practice is imposed by regulation and accounting standards.
The MP3 file has a short presentation by and interview with the author.
2004, Hobart Papers 149, ISBN 0 255 36559 4, 197pp, PB
They Meant Well: Government Project Disasters by D R Myddelton