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Lagging state of third-world accounting focus of U.N. forum.

The chasm between the accounting profession in developed and developing nations is widening, according to a recent United Nations forum on accounting education. The forum was held under the auspices of the U.N. Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts for International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR).

Professional accounting standards developed in the United States were seen in stark contrast to those of developing countries. In nearly half of the nations of Africa, for instance, the profession was reported to be virtually nonexistent--with no certification process, little funding for higher accounting education and few or no texts dedicated to the national accounting environment.

The forum noted it would be impossible for developing nations to join the global economy without an accounting profession. Tala Abu Ghazaleh of Jordan, elected chairman of ISAR during the U.N. session, called for a master plan to dramatically improve accounting education throughout the world.

Keeping pace with globalization. While the quality of accounting education worldwide was reported to vary from good to abysmal, no country was seen as free of the need for fast and radical improvement to keep up with global developments in transnational business.

Addressing the forum, Rick Elam, AICPA vice-president--education, said, "Globalization of the world economy will increasingly call for a globalization of accounting education, which can no longer concern itself with only the technical details of local accounting."
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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jun 1, 1993
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