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Abdullah, Noura

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  • Paper Title: Accounting Professionalization and education in emerging economies: the case of Kuwait
  • Department Affiliation: Accounting and Corporate Governance
  • Supervisor's Names:
    • Doctor Elaine Evans
    • Doctor Maria Cadiz Dyball


The aim of this study is to document the socio-historical and economic development of the accounting profession in Kuwait. Moreover, it will seek to identify the main signals of movements and key players in the process of accounting professionalization in Kuwait, one of the high-income oil exporting countries (HIOECs).


The economic transformation in Kuwait, after the discovery of oil in the 1940’s, initiated the need for professional accounting practice. The distinct nature of the relation between Kuwait and Britain as an Imperial Power, and the birth of the Arabic unity movements, influenced the accounting professionalization project in Kuwait in a different form than the argued “imperial influence” in colonized regions. The study also investigates the effect of the cultural and social factors on the emergence of the accounting profession in Kuwait. Furthermore, the findings of this study will add to the multifarious cross-national experiences of accounting professionalization and strengthen the theoretical grounds of accounting professionalization.

Key literature:

The key literature reviewed is cross-national accounting professionalization history. These studies have been analyzed to reflect on the common similarities/differences to the case of accounting professionalization project in Kuwait. The second source of literature is from the sociology discipline, to identify a theoretical framework for the case of accounting professionalization project in Kuwait.


The research comprises 1) archival research as a source of secondary data and 2) semi-structured interviews conducted with founders of the Kuwaiti Accounting and Auditing Association (KAAA), pioneer professionals, and academics as a source of primary data.

Preliminary Findings:

This study reveals less of influence by Britain, as an imperial power, on the accounting professionalization project in Kuwait, and more regional Arabic reliance due to governmental policies of asserting Arabic Unity influenced by the National Arabic movements.  


The main limiting factor was managing data collection especially as the data is located in Kuwait. 


Accounting Profession; Kuwait; History; High Income Oil Exporting Countries; Gulf Cooperation Council