Changes in accounting are not immune from the influence of institutions (public or private), that assume a political and social role and interact producing a regulatory function for accounting theory and practice; this dynamic can characterize in a decisive way accounting change in certain historical and social-institutional contexts. Among the socio-political changes that have signed the last century, the shift in the role of the State in political economy toward a direct intervention and a regulatory function of economic processes is an element of utmost importance for the reflections on the development of accounting. This is in particular what has happened with reference to economic policy linked to the last war and the problems associated with controlling economy and the state war-related jobs ordered to industry. The research presented in this paper analyses the experience of a path toward the definition of uniform accounting schemes and allows to carry out some considerations concerning both the general themes indicated and, in particular, the determination of product costs. The paper presents the Italian experience conducted by a Commission promoted by the Confindustria (Confederation of firms owners) and the Fascist government in 1941, the so-called "Uniconti" Commission, aimed at issuing uniform procedures for financial reporting and cost accounting as well. The analysis, grounded on primary sources of the archive of Confindustria, provides a picture that allows us to deepen the knowledge about the influence of global ideologies and national policies on the development of cost accounting and on the use of the related techniques, in the specific context of the totalitarian regime in Italy between the two wars, and to appreciate the interplay among participants (institutions, academy, enterprises) to that process of change.

Uniform costing for pricing in the War Economy of Fascism: the experience of the 'Uniconti' Commission in Italy (1941-42)

GIANNETTI, RICCARDO;
2008

Abstract

Changes in accounting are not immune from the influence of institutions (public or private), that assume a political and social role and interact producing a regulatory function for accounting theory and practice; this dynamic can characterize in a decisive way accounting change in certain historical and social-institutional contexts. Among the socio-political changes that have signed the last century, the shift in the role of the State in political economy toward a direct intervention and a regulatory function of economic processes is an element of utmost importance for the reflections on the development of accounting. This is in particular what has happened with reference to economic policy linked to the last war and the problems associated with controlling economy and the state war-related jobs ordered to industry. The research presented in this paper analyses the experience of a path toward the definition of uniform accounting schemes and allows to carry out some considerations concerning both the general themes indicated and, in particular, the determination of product costs. The paper presents the Italian experience conducted by a Commission promoted by the Confindustria (Confederation of firms owners) and the Fascist government in 1941, the so-called "Uniconti" Commission, aimed at issuing uniform procedures for financial reporting and cost accounting as well. The analysis, grounded on primary sources of the archive of Confindustria, provides a picture that allows us to deepen the knowledge about the influence of global ideologies and national policies on the development of cost accounting and on the use of the related techniques, in the specific context of the totalitarian regime in Italy between the two wars, and to appreciate the interplay among participants (institutions, academy, enterprises) to that process of change.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/127034
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