Previous versions of this paper were presented at the 12th World Congress of Accounting Historians (Istanbul, July 2008), the 5th European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM) Workshop on Accounting and Management in Historical Perspectives (Innsbruck, November 2008), the American Accounting Association Meeting (New York, August 2009), and a seminar at the Instituto de Empresa Business School. We are grateful to participants at these forums, Macario Cámara, Luis Fernández-Revuelta, Graeme Dean and three anonymous referees for helpful comments and suggestions. The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of grants SEJ2007-67582-C02-01 and ECO2010-22105-C03-01 through the Spanish Ministry of Innovation.
Educational Reforms Set Professional Boundaries: The Spanish Audit Function, 1850–1988
Article first published online: 19 FEB 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Abacus © 2013 Accounting Foundation, The University of Sydney
Volume 49, Issue 1, pages 99–137, March 2013
How to Cite
Carrera, N. and Carmona, S. (2013), Educational Reforms Set Professional Boundaries: The Spanish Audit Function, 1850–1988. Abacus, 49: 99–137. doi: 10.1111/abac.12004
- Issue published online: 7 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 19 FEB 2013
- Spanish Ministry of Innovation. Grant Numbers: SEJ2007-67582-C02-01, ECO2010-22105-C03-01
- Audit profession;
- Educational reforms;
- Professional boundaries;
- Social boundaries;
- Symbolic boundaries
Research on the accounting profession considers the notion of boundaries a useful, albeit wide and elusive, concept. However, recent sociological and organizational research has sharpened the concept of boundaries to enable further examination of relational processes. In this paper, we draw on this research to advance our understanding of the process of constructing boundaries in auditing. In doing so, we focus on the unique institutional conditions in Spain during the period 1850–1988. This period witnessed the overwhelming role of the State in any sphere of economic and social life. In the case of auditing, the influence of the State was augmented as the academic background became the site of influence, which resulted in educational reforms setting professional boundaries. Our findings provide some additional insights into the boundaries construction process and the dynamics of the symbolic and social boundaries contingent on the wider contexts of the audit function.