Book Reviews: Company Financial Reporting: A Historical and Comparative Study of the Dutch Regulatory Process

By Sinning, Kathleen E. | The Accounting Historians Journal, June 1993 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews: Company Financial Reporting: A Historical and Comparative Study of the Dutch Regulatory Process


Sinning, Kathleen E., The Accounting Historians Journal


Although the Dutch have a keen awareness of developments in financial accounting outside their country, few non-Dutch accounting scholars know much about the evolution of Dutch Financial reporting because little concerning it has been written in English. Company Financial Reporting: A Historical and Comparative Study of the Dutch Regulatory Process closes that gap. The authors have done a masterful job of analyzing the events leading to the current state of financial reporting in the Netherlands and providing the reader with a concise but thorough review of the economic, legal, political, and cultural environment in which the Dutch regulatory process has developed.

In the first chapter, the organizations, individuals, attitudes, and traditions that have shaped the Dutch regulatory process are introduced. The Dutch capital markets, the principal employer and employee federations, company law, and the evolution of the auditing profession are also examined.

Freedom in financial reporting has been a hallmark of Dutch accounting since the passage of the first company law. Over time, as changes occurred in the Dutch business climate, in the regulation of the Dutch auditing profession, and in the international accounting arena, attitudes toward financial reporting were modified. Chapters Two through Six of Company Financial Reporting analyze the events leading to the current state of financial reporting, in chronological order, beginning with the first attempts to regulate limited companies in the late nineteenth century. The chapters are organized around major initiatives to improve financial accounting.

Since there is very little literature on Dutch accounting history, the authors relied extensively on original source material including parliamentary proceedings, court decisions, confidential minutes of committee meetings, committee reports, comment letters to exposure drafts, newspaper and magazine articles and editorials, speeches, and 90 interviews with key people involved in the regulatory process. …

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