Australia's international harmonization drive: a case in political agenda building


Jones, S.; Rahman, S. F.; Wolnizer, P.


On March 4 1997, the Treasury Department of the Australian Government announced sweeping measures to reform standard setting arrangements in Australia (Treasury Department, Position Statement 1, 1997, p.9). A controversial feature of the reforms is that Australian reporting entities adopt International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) standards as domestic reporting standards (Treasury Department, Position Statement 1, 1997, pp.11-13). In the context of these issues, the present study has three objectives. First, the Treasury Department’s reform agenda is contrasted with earlier reforms attempted by the Australian accounting profession in 1990, in order to highlight different approaches to agenda building. Second, the agenda building models of Cobb et. al. (1972, 1976) are analysed to identify the Treasury Department’s strategic development of and ultimate control over the harmonization issue. Finally, a critique of the Government’s harmonization policy indicates that it could be premature and misdirected.

Publication year


Publication type

Conference paper


6th Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Accounting Conference (IPA 2000), 9-12 July 2000, Manchester, United Kingdom, no. 1, pp. 1-26


University of Manchester


Copyright © 2000.