Accounting professionalization amidst alternating state ideology in Ethiopia

Dessalegn Mihret, Kieran James, Joseph M. Mula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This study aims to examine accounting professionalization in Ethiopia focusing on how the state, occupational group struggle and transnational accountancy bodies influence the realization of closure.

Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative research approach is employed. Data were collected using document review and oral history approaches.
Findings – Accounting professionalization in Ethiopia was initiated by the state to strengthen the country’s financial system. Owing to a change of state ideology to communism in 1974, a strategy of developing accounting professionals as government-employed experts was pursued. The return to a
market-oriented economy in 1991 has seen a trend towards a more autonomous accountancy profession. Inflow of UK capital in the early twentieth century and activities of the UK-based Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in recent decades have influenced Ethiopia’s accountancy. Its professional and financial power has enabled ACCA to make arrangements with
Ethiopian Professional Association of Accountants and Auditors (EPAAA) and consolidate its position in Ethiopia’s accountancy by controlling EPAAA’s member training and certification.

Originality/value – The literature on accounting professional projects in developing countries has focused on imperialistic influence in former British colonies. The present study extends this literature by illustrating how British influence has continued to extend beyond Britain’s former colonial possessions. This enables an understanding of the dynamics of accounting professional projects in the developing world with analytical dimensions building on the hitherto dominant lens of “formal” colonial connection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1206-1233
Number of pages28
JournalAccounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Accounting profession
  • Closure
  • Critical perspective
  • Ethiopia
  • Functionalist perspective
  • Interactionist perspective
  • Accounting
  • Developing countries


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