The essential points regarding race, language, economic interests, religion, and culture are the landmarks of any community and societal inquiry. These factors instigate and influence constant discourses of numerous historian scholars in many community spheres, including economics, religion, accounting, politics, and ideology (Lin-Sheng, 3). They also provide essential information about how capitalists, ethnics, the state and nationalist operate, as well as foster self-accountability and contribution to society. Based on this understanding, these factors substantiate the intellectual flow within the community while also determining career and professional development of discordant fields in the community.
This paper outlines the core themes for the ethnographic research of the accounting profession. The narrations of members of the community in the accounting profession and literature by different scholars develop the central narrative with three sections illustrating accounting discordantly. These three ethnographic settings include the monarchy and socio-political view, the objective and rational perspective, and the collective responsibility and institutional view. The paper also explores the challenges experienced by an accounting community and the different ways of surmounting these difficulties.
Accounting Community Knowledge and Wellbeing-Accountant Community
The consideration of politics, race, ideology, religion, and economics is exceptionally vital when exploring the culture and social life of a particular community. Nonetheless, given the vast improvement of the accounting profession in the community, its social, political, and economic issues paint a clearer picture of the level of knowledge in society and the wellbeing of the people. Since nationalists, capitalists, ethnics, the regime or leaders and self-accountability of citizens form prominent aspects of the accounting community, their application to accounting involves critical reading and communication with members of the community to derive the proper meaning and interpretation.
Based on the research by Robson (550), proper meaning and interpretation involve connecting accounting to its immediate environment and presenting it in a discussion of its technical, neutral, and professional endeavor. The outcome of this exercise is the provision of the motives for accounting in terms of its challenges and impact on society. Thus, Accounting in the community needs to be explored from a realistic perspective to ensure it fulfills the knowledge and wellbeing aspects of ethnography. For instance, in this specific community, accounting work most occurs in the banks and other financial institutions. Those in the accounting profession secure different jobs in the banking sector with their positions varying depending on their level of education.
According to the views of a resident in Kuwait in the accounting profession, the banking sector employs various accountants in discordant positions based on academic merit, that is, their level of education. This assertion meets the wellbeing and knowledge prerequisites of the ethnography regarding an accounting community. This trend is also evident in the remuneration of the accountants. For instance, The National Bank of Kuwait pays employees with a diploma in accounting a salary of approximately 800 Kuwaiti dinars while their counterparts with a bachelor’s degree in accounting earn around 1200 Kuwaiti dinars. This response depicts the earning potential of different levels of accounting knowledge in the community. The society also values the principle of hard work. Apart from the academic qualification of people in the accounting community, hard work and experience also influence the ability of one to get a job or a promotion in the profession. This assertion implies that for an accountant to get a good position and advancement in his professional career, he needs to work hard and focus on achieving significant milestones in his workplace.Accountant Community
In terms of wellbeing, members of the community in the accounting profession need to make positive reports regarding the impact of their careers on their lives. Based on the response of the interviewee working at The National Bank of Kuwait, despite the challenges his faces at work such as long working hours, he remains in his job due to the financial rewards, the work environment, the vacation is allowed to take, and the excellent relationship with his co-workers. This response shows that accounting improves the wellbeing of those in the profession. Through their substantial rewards, accountants can provide for their families or themselves. Moreover, in situations whereby there is immense pressure at work or the work is overwhelming due to the exhaustion of working long hours, the workers can embark on a vacation or take a few days off to recuperate. These vacations and odd-days improve the wellbeing of the workers as it enables them to get sufficient rest to give one hundred percent in their workplaces; an attribute that is essential to the overall improvement of the community.
An exceptional aspect of accounting is its contribution to the lifestyle of the community. Accounting not only needs to improve the wellbeing of members of the community but also imbue the culture and the nature of the specific society. The outcome of such a provision is the perception of the accounting profession as a lifestyle instead of a job or career. Fortunately, many members of the accounting community including the interviewee no longer have a formal perception of accounting. Rather, they view it as an ideal lifestyle. It is imperative to note that attaining such a level of self-realization requires people to accomplish specific objective. For instance, they need to adapt to their workplaces and jobs. This process will enable them gain valuable experience and build positive and productive relationships with their coworkers. The fulfillment of this objective is equivalent to one’s adaptation to the cultures of his or her community as they both become part of his or her lifestyle.
One of the most highlighted concerns regarding ethnography is the ability of individuals to have the same variations, interpretation, descriptive account, and theoretical contribution of the reports of the events and activities of a particular community or society. In other words, how accurate and reliable is the description of the social worlds showed in ethnographies. Moreover, how valid is the people’s explanation regarding the observed events. According to the research by Hammersley (5), reliability and validity go hand in hand as the former is a form of the latter. In respect to qualitative fieldwork such as in this ethnography, the people validity and reliability apply in the determination of the ability of multiple observers to produce similar results and have coherent interpretations and explanations of the accounting community.Accountant Community
Literature forms a central part of critical ethnography, especially when it comes to educating and living with accountants (Power, 4). The vast knowledge and information contained in various studies indicate how accountants operate in society and how their profession impacts the wellbeing of the community. However, the accuracy of ethnographies cannot depend on these accounts of literature only. The information requires the real-life accounts of members of the community to either affirm or deny the arguments presented in the studies. Moreover, their views on the accounting community are more updated since they paint a current picture compared to the studies conducted a few years back. Based on this understanding, the responses of the interviewee working in the accounting profession in the community serve an excellent way of affirming the points presented by discordant scholars regarding the accounting community following extensive research. For instance, the challenges experienced by people in the accounting profession are similar as seen in the responses of the interviewee and the information in various literature on accounting community. Therefore, it is safe to assert that this accounting community meets the prerequisite for ethnographic validity.
Focusing on the accounting community presented useful insights and challenges that various individuals face in society. In terms of the ethnography, accounting forms a critical part of the community due to its close association with economic factors affecting each community. Moreover, as a career field that employs many people in the city, its significance cannot be shunned. Accounting meets the knowledge and wellbeing objectives of the community. For instance, the financial rewards, vacations, suitable working environment, and productive relationships with co-workers account for the wellbeing of members of the community in the accounting profession. Moreover, the different allocation of job positions and salaries based on the academic qualifications of people affirm the importance of knowledge in the accounting community. Even though accountants contribute to the wellbeing of the community and adapt their work to conform to the communal lifestyle, challenges such performance pressure and long working hours affect the profession adversely. Nonetheless, literature and the responses of the interviewee affirm the validity of this ethnography.
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