Year

2004

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Accounting and Finance

Abstract

Since the collapse of the socialist bloc in the 1990s a movement away from a centrally planned economy towards a market economy has been observed in the countries of the former socialist bloc. Following the lead of the former socialist countries the Vietnamese government has initiated a number of legal and economic reforms in order to assist the country in the transition process. However, like other transition countries, Vietnam faces many challenges in the process of modernising the economy so that it can fully participate in the global economy. Because accounting is considered to be an important tool in economic management, accounting reform is a vital item on the government reform menu. Vietnamese accounting has been gradually changed to fit better with the new environment.

This study seeks to explore in detail the process of accounting change in the Vietnamese transition economy. It focuses on investigating the influence of both historical and present day factors on accounting reform. Factors of particular interest are: aspects of Vietnamese culture; the role of government; and possible impacts of socialist ideology.

Considered an effective method in social research, ethnography has been employed as the research method for this study. In the course of the investigation of accounting change, participant observation and in-depth interviews have been used as the main techniques for data collection

Vietnam's long history of contending with foreign invasion and domination runs parallel with a strong tradition of successfully adapting foreign ideas and artefacts to suit local need (Vietnamisation). The study has revealed that, from a historical perspective, the origin and development of Vietnamese accounting was greatly affected by foreign countries, which had had political, ideological and economic influence on Vietnam. The investigation has also discovered that socialist ideology and Vietnamese culture have played very influential roles in accounting change in the current transition economy. The study has found that ideological paradox between the socialist economic system and the market system has caused a number of serious problems as Vietnam tries to incorporate market accounting concepts and standards into its current accounting system through a Vietnamising process. .

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