Regulatory Overload, Individual Cognition, and Professionalism in the Accounting Field

Mohamed A. Elbannan


The purpose of this paper is to examine some determinants of the quality of accounting information. This paper focuses on causes occurring at the individual accounting practitioner’s level that contribute to the perceived usefulness of accounting information. Practitioners are argued to respond to the pressures, created by multiple layers of regulatory, professional and organizational rule making bodies, by a feeling of defenselessness that emanates from possible disagreements with established rules. Practitioner frustration with these rules (which are sometimes perceived as dogmatic) and the impending threat of litigation forces practitioners to conform to these rules. Not only does this frustration reduce the capacity of the practitioner to act professionally, but also attaches a stigma to the practitioner’s self-perception. 

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