Accountability and financial statement presentation of early Western Australian banks: 1837–1880
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This study uses legal origin theory to consider the influence of the British imperial government on financial statement presentation of early Western Australian banks. Accountability and patterns of financial presentation were explored through an examination of 192 quarterly returns and three annual returns for the Bank of Western Australia, Western Australian Bank and National Bank of Australia over the years 1837–1880. Findings from the study suggest the banks demonstrated a willingness to prepare forms of Western-narrow and Western-broad accounts. Early Western Australian banks consistently prepared timely financial statements to keep stakeholders informed of the banks’ quarterly returns. Despite the harsh economic conditions, Western Australian banks appeared to keep pace with the changing legal, political and fiscal accountability reforms carried out by the colonial government during this early settlement period of Western Australia.
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