In the UK, the role of the state in accounting regulation has been ambivalent for some\ud decades. On the one hand, confidence has been openly expressed in the system of\ud private sector accounting regulation1 while accounting standards have been granted\ud legitimacy through recognition in company law2. On the other hand government has\ud introduced some detailed regulation through company law and has always been\ud involved in both the institutions and processes of private sector regulation. This\ud involvement has not necessarily been passive, but has always been covert leading to\ud reports of threats of counter-action by the government on some specific issues\ud (Robson). Indeed, it is felt that fear of intervention by the government provides some\ud of the rationale for private sector regulation. (Bromwich, 1981, Sharp, 1971, Taylor\ud and Turley, 1986). Providing a sharp contrast to the UK government’s actions\ud towards the standard setting body, the sunshine policy of the Financial Accounting\ud standards Board (FASB) in the US, means that governmental influence is overt\ud whether in the area of a single issue or the future of the FASB (Beresford)
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