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Regulatory theory insights into the past, present and future of general purpose water accounting standard setting

Chalmers, Keryn, Godfrey, Jayne M. and Lynch, Barbara 2012, Regulatory theory insights into the past, present and future of general purpose water accounting standard setting, Accounting, auditing and accountability journal, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 1001-1024.

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Title Regulatory theory insights into the past, present and future of general purpose water accounting standard setting
Author(s) Chalmers, Keryn
Godfrey, Jayne M.
Lynch, Barbara
Journal name Accounting, auditing and accountability journal
Volume number 25
Issue number 6
Start page 1001
End page 1024
Total pages 24
Publisher Emerald
Place of publication Bingley, England
Publication date 2012-07
ISSN 1368-0668
1758-4205
Keyword(s) Water accounting
financial accounting
regulatory theory
public interest
finance
water industry
water
accounting
regulatory capture
private interest
Summary Purpose – Accounting and water industry experts are developing general-purpose water accounting (GPWA) to report information about water and rights to water. The system has the potential to affect water policies, pricing and management, and investment and other decisions that are affected by GPWA report users' understanding of water risks faced by an entity. It may also affect financial returns to accounting and auditing firms and firms in water industries. In this paper the authors aim to examine the roles of the accounting profession, water industries and other stakeholders in governing GPWA. Recognising that the fate of GPWA depends partly upon regulatory power and economics, they seek to apply regulatory theories that explain financial accounting standards development to speculate about the national and international future of GPWA.

Design/methodology/approach – Official documents, internal Water Accounting Standards Board documents and unstructured interviews underpin the authors' analysis.

Findings – The authors speculate about the benefits that might accrue to various stakeholder groups from capturing the GPWA standard-setting process. They also suggest that internationally, water industries may dominate early GPWA standards development in the public interest and that regulatory capture by accounting or water industry professionals will not necessarily conflict with public interest benefits.

Practical implications – Accounting for water can affect allocations of environmental, economic, social and other resources; also, accounting and water industry professional standing and revenues. In this paper the authors identify factors influencing GPWA standards and standard-setting institutional arrangements, and thereby these resource allocations. The paper generates an awareness of GPWA's emergence and practical implications.

Originality/value –
This is an early study to investigate water accounting standard-setting regulatory influences and their impact.
Notes Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
Field of Research 150106 Sustainability Accounting and Reporting
Socio Economic Objective 960708 Urban Land Policy
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30048368

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.