competing images and the way accounting is implicated Essay

Accounting theory elaborates imagery. Working within a model specifying a numerical position of world, comptrollers draw on different images of the accounting procedure to lucubrate different theories of accounting. This essay examines how different images have shaped developments in fiscal accounting and considers the deductions for future theory and research. This essay will be researching the images which have shaped accounting theory and how modern-day arguments in the field of accounting revolve around the protagonism of viing images. The first portion outlines the four principal images that dominate the theory and pattern of fiscal accounting. The 2nd portion assesses the impact the images have on accounting patterns and see options to utilizing different images. The 3rd portion concludes the essay by summarizing and discoursing the statements.

Accounting is Basically Subjective


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Competing Images of Accounting

Of the many images that have shaped accounting, numerical world has been the most of import. While comptrollers by and large take the construct of figure as an nonsubjective, value-free phenomenon, the usage of Numberss depict assorted facets of the organizational universe rests on an of import act of societal building: when we characterise the size of a corporation in footings of the figure of employees, entire assets, or one-year gross revenues, or the success of a corporation in footings of rate of return on investing, growing in net incomes, etc. , we abstract from a more concrete world.

The premise that Numberss help to determine world defines the basic model of accounting and provides restraints upon accounting. The model has developed a position in which accounting theory and research has developed in a figure of ways, “ pulling on specific sorts of imagination as a footing for elaborate theorising ” . This has been the instance in fiscal and managerial accounting, which has developed arguments about their visions upon numerical world. The four principal images illustrated by Morgan ( 1982 ) will now be discussed.

The four principal images that have shaped the development of fiscal accounting are historical record, current economic world, information system and a trade good. The last three images have been developed late, influenced by factors developed in other ordinances.

The 2nd image of fiscal accounting is concerned with portraying the current economic world. This image was recognised by theoreticians whilst developing in economic sciences ( e.g. Canning, Paton ) . Theorists identified that the behavior of concerns were influenced through current and future monetary values. In add-on, these monetary values were reflected in the balance sheet and income statement, instead than the historical monetary values. It has been suggested that “ the balance sheet should demo the fiscal place or wealth of the house by utilizing economic values of assets and liabilities ” ( Morgan 1982 ) . Respectively, income is defined as alterations in the wealth of a concern over a certain period of clip.

Need to discourse 3rd and 4th images

Historical Record image: stewardship function, historic cost, events accounting

Economic world image: market values, just values, fiscal statements seek to retroflex markets, influence ingestion and investing determinations, focal point is on measuring of income and wealth

Information Processing image: focal point on production of information for determinations, security monetary value research, human information processing

Public trade good image: information is brought and sold, competition for information

Summary of four images:

It can be suggested that the “ subjective nature of images leads us to believe that no one image can capture to the full the kernel of accounting ” . This highlights the position that new images will be developed in the hereafter, adding new impressions to the thought of accounting and to run into alterations in its contexts. In kernel, accounting purposes to accomplish the demands of the context in which it is set. Summarizing, the historical record stemmed from the demands of stewardship, nevertheless over clip refined to run into the demands of capitalist economy. The economic world image developed from the impression of scarceness. The 3rd image, information systems developed with the on-going progresss in engineering, every bit good as administrations giving higher attending to the flow and construction of information within the concern. Finally, the trade good image developed through the context of a regulated environment.

Does SSAP 13 encourage investing in R & A ; D? ( No, non truly )

Example of Oil Company – do you account for 1 out of 10 oil companies in balance sheet and the other 9 are written off or account for all 10, but amortise during the following nine old ages

Accounting computations are based on premises

Accounting is non ‘value free ‘

Objectivity – conformity with the regulations

Accounting enables us to label things ( R & A ; D, Goodwill )

Accounting in the Construction of Social Reality

Drumhead and Discussion

World does non be independently of histories of it. As Meyer ( 1983, p.236 ) states, an organisation, “ is in fact a sprawling, complex establishment, with multiple intents and staccato plans ( engineerings ) , of unknown production maps, of viing and independent low-level units ” . But accounting imposes a conceptual boundary on it: “ the comptrollers settle the affair by definition, and geting boundaries means, for an organisation, geting world ” ( p. 236 ) . Hines ( 1986b ) shows how the fiscal histories of an organisation do non simply describe, or pass on information about, an organisation, but how they besides play a portion in the building of the organisation, by specifying its boundaries. An organisation is non a concrete thing, but a set of interrelatednesss, and if it is to be, so it must someway be bounded or defined. Fiscal accounting contentions are contentions about how to specify the organisation. For illustration, what should “ assets ” and “ liabilities ” include/exclude: at what point does an asset/liability become so intangible/uncertain /unenforceable / unidentifiable /non-severable, etc. , that is ceases to be considered to be a “ portion ” of an organisation? The replies to inquiries such as these, define the “ size ” , “ wellness ” , “ construction ” and “ public presentation ” , in other words, the world of an organisation.

When the constructed nature of societal world is recognized, it becomes readily apprehensible why, for illustration, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ( FASB, 1984 ) was unable, in its Conceptual Framework, to disassociate measuring from acknowledgment. It is hard to “ step ” something, before it has been made existent, that is, “ realized ” !

The subjects in this paper emphasize the constructionist position of society, because it has non by and large been acknowledged in mainstream fiscal accounting research, that societal world, whilst tangibly pre-existing the person, arises interactively with societal action. It is hence in an attempt to partly right this instability, that the constructed nature of societal world has been emphasized in this paper.

Assorted reviews have been made of the constructionist point of view for its disregard of societal construction ( for illustration Giddens, 1976 ) . However, the present paper, whilst stressing that people construct societal dealingss and societal construction in an on-going manner, besides recognizes that societal constructions, such as organisations, pre-exist the person. As the rubric of this paper

reflects, societal world exists tangibly, and accounting patterns communicate that world, but in so making, such patterns play a portion in making, determining and altering, that is, in building world. Thus the overall theoretical place of this paper corresponds more to the place of Berger & A ; Luckmann ( 1966 ) or Giddens ( 1984 ) [ although these are non elementary positions — see, for illustration, Smith & A ; Turner ( 1986 ) ] .

It is demonstrated by Hines ( 1988 p251-261 ) that accounting is seen as being socially constructed, in that it is practiced by people for people, connoting accounting is more of an art than a scientific discipline. In add-on, accounting has evolved through small or no theoretical cognition in comparing to other professions, which helps to underpin its values, maps and practise.

Accounting traditionally played a stewardship function as portrayed by Morgan ( 1982 ) when he uses the image of accounting as a historical record to exemplify that accounting can be ‘as the extension of the proprietor ‘s personal memory ‘ .

The image of accounting as a historical record has been used by Morgan ( 1982 ) to exemplify accounting ‘as the extension of the proprietor ‘s personal memory ‘ to assist picture the impression that accounting traditionally played a stewardship function.

Accounting traditionally played a stewardship function as depicted by Morgan

It has been viewed by Morgan ( Morgan et al, 1982, p309 )

layed a stewardship function as portrayed by Morgan ( Morgan et al, 1982, p309 ) , when the historical record image

It can be agreed that accounting can be seen as entities supplying historical records of its activities. This implies that entities must keep a ‘true and just position ‘ of its existent events in their fiscal studies, guaranting the information is dependable, consistent and quantifiable for its users.


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