Purpose – This paper seeks to explore the reasons for the dominance of Western accounting and neglect of Islamic accounting in Islamic countries, using Jordan as a case study. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reports the results of a series of interviews, using a semi-structured questionnaire, with senior members of the accounting regulatory regime in Jordan. The interview data are supplemented by relevant secondary (documentary) data. Findings – The paper concludes that economic dependency on developed Western nations and their international agencies is the major factor determining accounting policy and practice in Jordan. Research limitations/implications – The main limitations of this study are the uncertainty concerning the extent to which the respondents' views are representative of accounting policy makers in Jordan, and the inevitable degree of subjectivity involved in evaluating the relative impact of economic dependency and other factors on accounting policy in Jordan. Originality/value – The paper enhances understanding of the neglect of Islamic accounting in Islamic countries and provides insights into the prospects for and barriers to wider adoption of Islamic accounting in future.