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The Libyan Accounting Profession
The aim of this paper is to trace the historical development of the accounting profession in Libya, in order to identify challenges facing the profession as the country moves from a closed to emerging economy. The study is based on a literature review and archival research. Accounting information has a vital role to play in the achievement of economic goals in developing and emerging economies, but a well qualified accounting profession is required. In the context of institutional instability and unique cultural factors, the accounting profession in Libya faces educational and legal challenges if it is to achieve its potential in assisting the country to reach its economic goals. This study focuses on one country, which does limit its generalisability. However, it also suggests fruitful research areas in considering the impact and challenge of historic factors on the accounting profession in emerging economies. Centrally planned economies require a body of well trained professional accountants if they are to emerge onto the global economic arena. Studies on the accounting profession have focused primarily on those in developed economies, where the need for meaningful accounting information for decision making is taken for granted and there is a well trained, professional workforce. This study of the profession in an emerging economy highlights the efforts that will be needed to ensure the contribution of the profession to the economic wellbeing of other emerging economies.
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