Why do we need so many different theories in accounting?

Basically, in term of accounting research as a societal pattern, the nucleus hard sage which the accounting has been confronting, that there is no standard theory to be applied in general theoretical account as it is being accepted universally.

This essay is aimed to concentrate on this construct as there are several attacks will be discussed, such as the construct of the term theory an general and in accounting peculiarly, every bit good as an illustration of two different theories which treat the same issue will be discussed. ( in this term, the attacks of current buying cost accounting and current cost accounting will be discussed in the instance of altering the monetary values )

2. The construct of the accounting as a theory

By and large, it could be illustrate that in the term of accounting, there is no peculiar theory in accounting as there has been considerable assorted theories in the fiscal accounting ( Deegan 2001, pp2-3 ) . In fact, nevertheless, there has non been any peculiar theory that accepted universally. In term of supporting the significance of the accounting theory, there are several though in term of withstanding the theory, as there is no peculiar position that how theory should be defined ( Deegan, 2003, p5 ) . However, the theory of accounting can be defined in different fortunes, because it might curry several significance of things. Therefore, it could be merely defined the theory of accounting as “ a statement of a belief expressed in a linguistic communication ” ( Godfry 2007, p22 ) . Other point of position which defined the accounting theory as undertaking which provide or obtain an apprehension in order to supply a good adequate account or prescription of ‘particular phenomena ‘ to make a footing or pattern in order to get by with this issue ( Gaffikin, 2007, p4 ) .

Harmonizing to Frost et Al ( 2003: 4 ) , theory is a set of thoughts which used to show and explicate the existent universe observations. However, in related to this issue on accounting theory, as Hendrikson ( 1970: 1 ) , and Chambers ( 1963, quoted in Frost et Al, 2003, p.4 ) introduced definitions of the ‘theory ‘ and the ‘accounting theory ‘ which might be expedient to this construct. The both definitions are set below severally:

“ aˆ¦.the coherent set of conjectural, conceptual and matter-of-fact rule organizing the general model of mention for a field of enquiry ” .

“ aˆ¦logical logical thinking in the term of a set of wide rules that ( 1 ) supply a general model of mention by which accounting pattern can be evaluated and ( 2 ) steer the development of new patterns and processs ” .

What the above definitions imply is that the theory should be based on logical ( coherent ) logical thinking. As there is no 1 position of a theory that would acknowledge a peculiar definition universally acceptable ( Gaffikin 2007, pp 4-5 ) . However, in term of what the intents of a theory in general and in the accounting as a scientific discipline peculiarly are? In fact, nevertheless, it could this inquiry be answered in different ways: theory can provides the humanity ( in the term of accounting and finance field ) with a peculiar position of a phenomenon under different fortunes ( Arnold and Hope, 1983:4-5 ) , other point that the alternate theories can supply several position of the same phenomenon otherwise.

3. The different facets of accounting theory

Harmonizing to the many writers in the accounting field ; Deegan and Unerman ( 2006:2-8 ) for illustration, province that the accounting theories do different undertakings ; they do non merely seek to supply anticipation or account based on a peculiar phenomenon, but besides they prescribe what should be done ( which is opposed to depicting or foretelling what is done ) in peculiar fortunes, as the different accounting theories are shown in Fugger ( 1 ) . However, as it mentioned before, in term of accounting as a scientific discipline: there is no peculiar theory accepted universally. In fact, as Deegan ( 2001: 4-5 ) , reports that any universally agreed position of the stressing how to be develop. Therefore, this might because those different researches have different position in term of the function of accounting theory, and besides that what is the nucleus function or object of fiscal accounting should be.

As an illustration of the different position of accounting researches ; there are many researches think that indispensable function of the accounting theory should to explicate or foretell peculiar phenomenon related ( positive theories ) – ( for case, to explicate why several histories prefer a peculiar method, whereas other comptrollers might take another or alternate mode ) ( Ibid: 6 ) . Relatively, other researches might see that the accounting theory ‘s function is to order ( Normative theories ) – ( which is opposed to depict ) peculiar mode to accounting ( as an illustration of this ; that sort of theory/ theories prescribe peculiar assets that should be valued as the market value set instead than historical costs ) ( Deegan 2001: 4-5 ) .

From this, theories are seen that really of import, as mentioned, theories can make different facets as in accounting there are many as shown in the figure ( 1 ) .

Figure ( 1 ) : the different categorization of the accounting theories

Beginning: Lectures Note ( Merkel-Davies, 2009 )

4. Normative theories in accounting and their function in altering the monetary values

Obviously, as mentioned before, that normative theories do non explicate or depict a peculiar phenomenon as what is happening, but inkwell of that: theses theory make suggestions or recommendations about what should be, In other words, they are the theories that provide prescriptions concerned to what should occurred ( Dever et al, 2007: 11 ) . However, Deegan et Al ( 2006 ) province that over clip, many unfavorable judgments have been raised about using the historical cost accounting concerned its ability in term of supplying dependable information, peculiarly in lifting monetary values clip. Therefore, the issue of altering the monetary values is one of the chief attacks which are discussed through these classs of theories:

4.1 Current buying power accounting ( CPPA )

This attack was a effect of the early plants by Sweeny ( 1936 ) . Since that, it has been favoured by many accounting researches ( Deegan, 2003 ) . The CPPA has besides been supported internationally by several professional accounting organic structures ( as it more in the signifier of auxiliary revelations to accounting fiscal statements which prepared consistent with the rule of historical cost accounting ) ( Deegan 2001 ) . However, the nucleus construct of the ( CPPA ) that it was developed on the footing of the thought that during the lifting monetary values period ( Inflation ) that if an entity ware to take portion of unadjusted net income which based on historical costs, and hence the effects might cut down the existent value of this entity: because that the entity could do a hazard administering portion of its capital in the existent in the existent term ( ibid: 128 ) .

Under the consideration of the accounting development in term of altering the monetary values, the bulk of research ab initio related to repeating historical costs to account for altering monetary values by utilizing historical cost histories as the footing, but repeating the histories by usage of peculiar monetary value indices ( Frost et al 2003:140-141 ) .

However, in term of using the degree accounting of general monetary values, it must be use the priced index, as the monetary value index is a leaden norm of the current monetary values of both goods and services which can be comparative to a leaden norm of monetary values in a peculiar period, which is frequently considered as a base period ( Deegan 2003: 129 ) . However, monetary value indices might associate to alterations in pricing of a particulate plus in a peculiar industry ( which as a specific monetary value index ) . Alternatively, they might establish on a wide cross-section of peculiar goods and services which could be consumed ( the general monetary value index, such as in the UK ( CPI ) which is the Consumer Price Index ) .

Harmonizing to Deegan and Unerman ( 2006:129 ) , in term of explicating one of the common ways which indices might be constructed, it could see the undermentioned illustration which investigates how the CPI s determined, for that intent, there are three kinds of trade goods are assumed ( A and B ) , as consumed in a basal twelvemonth measures priced as followers:

Obviously, from the informations shown above, it can be easy notice that monetary values have increased, as the monetary value index in the twelvemonth 2007 ( the base twelvemonth ) in often given an sum value of 100 every bit good as it is assumed that the measures of ingestion remain the same value. However, the monetary value index at the terminal of 2008 can be computed as followers:

From the computation ‘s consequence, it can be pointed out that the monetary value of the good shown above has been lifting in 2009by 11.111 % compared with the twelvemonth 2007. Therefore, the alteration in general buying power within mentioned period is represented by the monetary value index ( Deegan 2001 ) .

In term of evaluate the attack, the chief advantages that it is easy to be applied. However, the chief restrictions of this, is that in clip of lifting monetary values, the motion in the monetary values of services and goods which included in the general monetary value index could non be brooding of this addition in monetary values which involved in different industries, and hence, rising prices might impact these industries otherwise ( Deegan and Unerman, 2006 ) .

4.2 Current cost accounting

Current cost emphasizing ( CCA ) is accounting in which assets are evaluated at the current market purchasing monetary values and net income is determined by allocated based on current costs ( Frost et al, 2003 ) . However, in this place ; the inquiry: why current cost is used? The reply might necessitate a consideration of that sort of determinations that directors are faced during running a concern. However, this approached was supported by Notable, Paton ( 1922 ) , and Edward and Bell ( 1961 ) , who did rejected both: the historical cost of accounting and current buying power accounting because CCA do consideration to the existent value ( Deegan, 2001 ) . The chief construct of this attack that it differentiates between the net incomes which come from trading and those additions which is earned as a consequence of keeping an plus. In other words, these net incomes are treated otherwise. In add-on, this attack used the existent rating of assets which can be typically based on replacing costs ( ibid ) .

Harmonizing to Deegan and Unerman ( 2006 ) , it is considered that keeping additions as realized or unrealized. It can be treated keeping addition or loses as income, if fiscal position is adopted with regard to the acknowledgment of income. However, in term of supplying farther apprehension of this attack, it is assumed that there are 150 points of stock required by an entity, at cost of ?10.00 each. 100 points out of 150 were sold for ?15 each when ?12 for the replacing cost to the mentioned entity. Therefore, under this attack, the operating net income would be ?300 ( 100* ( 15-12 ) ) , and hence, there would be a released retention addition on that points which were sold ( ibid ) .

Harmonizing to Frost et Al ( 2003 ) the chief unfavorable judgments of current cost is that the purchase monetary value of an point is non the resalable value, as the existent value is the logical sweeps of a cost. On the other manus, the nucleus downside of it that replacement cost might hold small relevancy, in instance of an entity is non sing replacing an plus, and hence, this replacing might non really reflect the current value of the assets in inquiry in the market ( Deegan, 2001 ) .

5. Decision

To sum up, theory is helpful to understand theoretical underpinnings in order to be possible to critical the same phenomenon, as the accounting is a societal scientific discipline ( which means that the accounting is a societal pattern as there is no peculiar measuring that it could be applied ) , and hence, there is no peculiar truth in this field.

In accounting, there are different types of theories that accounting can be used for assorted intents. These theories have developed in order to explicate, depict, or foretell how accounting is applied in different facets, every bit good as how it should be.

Under the normative theories, Current buying power accounting ( CPPA ) and current cost accounting ( CCA ) are one of those attacks which discussed and treated the phenomenon of altering the monetary values and against the historical cost accounting. However, each attack of those has its strength and failing as there is no any of those methods has universally accepted by professional accounting organic structures.


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