By Trevor Gambling (auth.)
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Additional resources for Positive Accounting: Problems and Solutions
Citizens Advice Bureaux and specialist 'money advice centres' do provide ordinary people and very small traders with financial advice, and professional accountants are playing a larger role in these affairs. On the other hand, many accountants become closely involved in the personal affairs of the rich, through concern with family businesses and family trusts. This sort of accountancy practice is now falling somewhat into history; family businesses and long-standing family settlements are giving way to large corporations and pension funds.
Some believe that it does; for example, in the Soviet Union and elsewhere in the Eastern Bloc countries, accountants are restricted to financial accounting, while management accounting and budgeting are the concerns of'engineering economists'. Similarly, in this country, in America and in Europe, quite a few enterprises are defensively proud of the fact that their senior finance executives are not qualified accountants, but graduates of business schools! Nevertheless, there is nothing done by financial executives which falls outside the terms in which I have defined the work of accountants in this chapter.
Because all ill-structured decisions are made in conditions of ignorance of cause and effect, it is not easy to award praise or blame for the outcome, other than by reference to the expected behaviour of managers in the culture in question. Such expectations will vary between Tokyo, Paris, London or New York, but once they are established, their observation must lead to essentially 'conservative' and standardised reactions. Deviant behaviour is seen as 'lucky' is a successful outcome, but 'stupid' when things go wrong.