Multiple dimensions of Accounting in the development of GAAP

Staunton, John J (2008) Multiple dimensions of Accounting in the development of GAAP. Abacus, 44 (1). pp. 109-135.

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The phrase 'accepted accounting principles' underlying financial statements is a forerunner of today's accounting standards. Here, it is argued that history shows that the term 'principles' is often most vague in debates on the development of those standards. The reasons for and consequences of that vague use are varied and complex. This article provides insights not highlighted in earlier analyses of the periods reviewed. While debates like the rule- versus principle-based standards are set up as two-dimensional, the many dimensions of accounting often allow argument to be easily diverted. The debate/argument thus remains unresolved. For progress to be achieved in the establishment of accounting standards the many dimensions of accounting must be acknowledged and attempts to divert debate minimized. Those with a stake in the development of accounting standards need to consider the total scene of the related accounting. In a particular debate, dimensions under scrutiny must be stated, with any others in that total scene being acknowledged even if kept constant.

Item ID: 19924
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-6281
Keywords: accounting, conventions, history, principles, rules, standards, thought, Chambers, husband, Littleton, May
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2012 02:14
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability > 150101 Accounting Theory and Standards @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services @ 100%
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