Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the accounting development process and international financial reporting standards (IFRS) in small island economies (SIEs), with particular reference to Mauritius. SIEs are different from large economies in terms of economic and political dependence, colonial influences and international pressures, as well as vulnerability to natural shocks. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses Briston's Accounting Evolutionary Theory (BAET) and the Transcendental Stage of Accounting Development (TSAD) proposed by Boolaky and adopts a descripto‐explanatory research tradition to explain accounting development and IFRS in Mauritius. Data on key development economic policies between 1960 and 2008 are collected and analysed using secondary sources, whereas data related to colonisation and basis of legal system are archived from the National Library. Findings – Mauritius has experienced little difficulty compared to other countries in the African region such as Madagascar, Mozambique, Angola, Swaziland etc. in its accounting development process because it is used to the Anglo‐Saxon accounting system, has adopted the phase‐by‐phase development process, has an adequate supply of professionally qualified accountants and made IFRS compliance mandatory in 2001 through the revised Companies Act, 2001 and through the revision of other related legislations. As regards IFRS, Mauritius has a legal, political, business and economic environment conducive to sustain IFRS. Research limitations/implications – This paper applies BAET to examine accounting development from basic book‐keeping to IFRS adoption in Mauritius. It also explains that there is a transcendental stage of accounting development which BAET has not taken into consideration. Originality/value – There is no previous study which has used BAET and TSAD to examine accounting development and IFRS in small island jurisdictions. Previous studies have mostly focused on large economies. This paper also provides a basis for future research in similar jurisdictions.
Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 17, 2012
Keywords: Mauritius; International accounting; International standards; Financial reporting; Accounting development; IFRS