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An Experimental Investigation of Vagueness on the Left Side of Balance Sheet

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Author Info

  • Ricardo Lopes Cardoso

    (Getulio Vargas Foundation)

  • André Carlos Busanelli de Aquino

    (University of São Paulo / FEA-RP)

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    Abstract

    We investigated through experiments vagueness among property, plant, and equipment (PPE), intangible asset and inventory accounts. To semantic vagueness among items, epistemic vagueness is added in relation to liquidity order classification. Traditional dichotomy current/non-current classification of balance sheet items seems to have been used as a straitjacket, where inventories are current assets, and PPE and intangibles are non-current assets. While gray zone is ignored, items that lay on that are swept under the rug, i.e. arbitrarily classified in one way or another, hence, information asymmetry persists, and is neglected by auditors and standard setters. Literature suggests that the increase of information about underling economic transactions mitigate vagueness. Through the configurational approach, we identified five arrangements according to the intensity of property rights transference. Information about those five arrangements was provided to subjects. Evidences from between-subjects experiments (subjects were 93 MBA students enrolled on Accounting courses) suggest that the argued vagueness is acknowledge by financial statements users.

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    File URL: http://www.bbronline.com.br/public/edicoes/6_2/artigos/07mr7@0u556122010150531.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Fucape Business School in its journal Brazilian Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 198-216

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    Handle: RePEc:bbz:fcpbbr:v:6:y:2009:i:2:p:198-216

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    Postal: Fucape Business School Brazilian Business Review Av. Fernando Ferrari, 1358, Boa Vista CEP 29075-505 Vitória-ES
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    Web page: http://www.bbronline.com.br/
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    Related research

    Keywords: classified balance sheet; IFRS; vagueness; experiment.;

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