Exploring the roles of vernacular accounting systems in the development of "enabling" global accounting and control systems

Lukas Goretzki, Erik Strauss, Leona Wiegmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study sheds light on how self-developed local accounting and control systems (so- called vernacular accounting systems; VAS) can influence knowledge integration in development processes of enabling global accounting and control systems. We focus on accounting and control systems as devices that enable local actors to build on codified knowledge to create "new" knowledge that can facilitate local problem-solving. We argue that local actors would evaluate a proposed global system as enabling or coercive depending on both their ability to manipulate the knowledge codified within as well as the consequences that the codified knowledge has for their authority in the local knowledge creation process. Based on a case study of the development process of a global accounting and control system, we demonstrate that VAS can play a crucial role in both local actors' evaluation of a proposed system (as points of reference) and their influence on knowledge integration (as knowledge transformation devices). Furthermore, local actors may continue to rely on their VAS if they realize that the proposed global system does not fit their needs. Local actors can thus use their VAS (as negotiation devices) to strengthen their position in the development process as counterparts to the global system designers because the "threat" of continuing to use the VAS may prompt system designers to integrate local knowledge into the proposed global system. We thus also suggest that, if made visible to others and actively mobilized, VAS may foster productive debates that facilitate the migration of local knowledge into global systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1888-1916
Number of pages29
JournalContemporary Accounting Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Enabling accounting systems
  • Vernacular accounting systems
  • Knowledge integration
  • Forecasting systems

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