Charting the development of the Egyptian accounting profession (1946–2016): An analysis of the State-Profession dynamics

Peter Ghattas, Teerooven Soobaroyen, Oliver Marnet

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This paper mobilises notions of professional closure and political economy to analyse the development of the Egyptian accounting profession (1946–2016). We rely on interviews with Egyptian Society of Accountants and Auditors (ESAA) board members, government officials, representatives of international/local firms, and academics. Legislative documents (particularly Accounting Practice Law 133/1951), regulations and publications were also analysed. Established since 1946, ESAA’s initial attempts to embed an ‘Anglo-American’ professional model were curtailed by the newly independent State enabling non-credentialed and relatively less experienced native practitioners to be registered as qualified accountants. The State’s influence persisted during the socialist period of nationalisation with a de-emphasising of the accounting profession as an occupational group. The early stages of market capitalism witnessed attempts to re-develop a private-sector-led profession with the support of international organisations, which re-asserted the dominant position of ESAA members. However, government, ESAA and international agencies’ efforts to repeal the original Accounting Practice Law and achieve market closure for the primary benefit of ESAA members were thwarted by political pressure from non-ESAA accountants. Nonetheless, ESAA eventually secured privileged access to the listed firms’ audit market. This paper aims to enhance our understanding of changing State-led priorities on accounting professionalization in African developing countries.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102159
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Early online date20 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


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