A normative theory of accounting for Zimbabwe : a third world country
Accountants generally agree that accounting systems should harmonize with their environments and consequently it is commonly observed that Less Developed Countries (LOCs) should have systems different from those of the Western developed nations. The study constructs a normative accounting theory for Zimbabwe which accords with the aforementioned opinions. Further uniqueness occurs through the provision of a wholly generalizable paradigm for constructing explicit linkages between an environment and an accounting system. The paradigm is utilized firstly as an instrumental framework for the structured analysis of the extant literature, resulting in a morphology of environmental properties relevant to harmony with accounting, the revelation of varied accounting practices, and relationships existing between practices and environments. Subsequently, the paradigm is used as a puzzle-solution model for the development of the normative theory of accounting for Zimbabwe. Extensive argumentation supports the general environmental propositions, concepts of the firm, objectives, principles and fundamental practices constituting the normative theory. The major tenets of the theory, distilled from the LOC-type of environment; are that Zimbabwean companies should represent an amalgam of societal interests, dominated by controlling shareholders, employee representatives and government; and, that accounting should be concerned not only with portraying wealth, wealth creation, and wealth transfers but also with their societal equitableness. The resultant theory supports the cammon assertion that LDC accounting systems should be different fram those of developed nations. The practices presented are pragmatic and in many instances unconventional but deemed necessary to positively stimulate national development (cammon-wealth) and, to more fully satisfy the needs of decision-makers than conventional systems. The system's normative nature and detailed structure affords numerous opportunities for further (especially empirical) research.