The role of political influence in the coexistence of accounting standards and a uniform accounting system: developments in China

Manli Sun, Pauline Weetman, Jason Z. Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


This article investigates the role of political influence, as well as accounting tradition and the equity market, in China's recent changes in accounting regulation. We find that the Chinese government, in part self-motivated and in part under external pressure, has been active in developing accounting standards in harmony with international accounting standards. However, it has retained a uniform accounting system in the Enterprise Accounting System issued in 2000 to accommodate the special circumstances of a transforming government, strong state-ownership, a weak accounting profession, a weak and imperfect equity market, and the inertial effect of accounting tradition and cultural factors. This article also contributes to existing models of accounting system classification by illustrating the need for considering political influence as a factor that affects the rate of transition towards full implementation of international accounting standards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-218
Number of pages25
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


  • political influence
  • accounting tradition
  • equity market
  • China
  • accounting regulation
  • Chinese government
  • accounting standards
  • uniform accounting system

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