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Corporate Governance in ContextCorporations, States, and Markets in Europe, Japan, and the US$
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Klaus J. Hopt, Eddy Wymeersch, Hideki Kanda, and Harald Baum

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199290703

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290703.001.0001

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The Changing World of the CPAs in Japan

The Changing World of the CPAs in Japan

Chapter:
(p.663) The Changing World of the CPAs in Japan
Source:
Corporate Governance in Context
Author(s):

Hiroshi Oda

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290703.003.0031

This chapter discusses CPA system reform in Japan. The necessity for reform of the accounting system, aimed at increased transparency for investors, has been recognised in Japan for some time. It coincided with the Japanese Big Bang, a major reform intended to create a free, fair, and global financial system. In the late 1990s, the reform proposals became broader in scope following growing criticisms of the profession concerning the CPAs' failure to expose the window-dressing which brought down some securities companies and banks. These proposals largely resorted to self-regulation by the Japan Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA). The JICPA accordingly introduced various measures to increase the effectiveness of the audits by the CPAs. However, after the Enron/WorldCom affairs, influenced by the US, the tide seems to have changed. Further reinforcement of the independence of the CPAs from the client companies, and above all broader grounds for interference by the government, were proposed and eventually became law. The amended CPA Law has been significantly influenced by the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, although the profession has managed to reach some compromises.

Keywords:   accounting, CPA law, auditing, accountants, Sarbanes–Oxley Act

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