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Paradox of Writing Clear Rules: Interplay of Financial Reporting Standards and Engineering


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  • Shyam Sunder

    (School of Management, Yale University, USA)


Attempts to improve financial reporting by adding clarity to its rules and standards through issuance of interpretations and guidance also serve to furnish a better roadmap for evasion through financial engineering. Thus, paradoxically, regulation of financial reporting becomes a victim of its own pursuit of clarity. The interplay between rules written to govern preparation and auditing of fi nancial reports on one hand, and fi nancial engineering of securities to manage the appearance of fi nancial reports on the other, played a signifi cant role in the financial crisis of the recent years. Fundamental rethinking about excessive dependence of financial reporting on written rules (to the exclusion of general acceptance and social norms) may be necessary to preserve the integrity of financial reporting in its losing struggle with financial engineering.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University in its journal The Japanese Accounting Review.

Volume (Year): 1 (2011)
Issue (Month): (December)
Pages: 119-130

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Handle: RePEc:kob:tjrevi:dec2011:v:1:p:119-130

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Related research

Keywords: Financial Reporting; Financial Engineering; Written Standards; Social Norms; Regulatory Equilibrium;

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  1. Shyam Sunder & Journal Accounting, 2002. "Regulatory Competition Among Accounting Standards Within and Across International Boundaries," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm317, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Feb 2003.
  2. Anil Arya & Shyam Sunder & Jonathan Glover, 2002. "Are Unmanaged Earnings Always Better for Shareholders?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm295, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Feb 2003.
  3. Lang, Matthias & Wambach, Achim, 2013. "The fog of fraud – Mitigating fraud by strategic ambiguity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 255-275.
  4. Shyam Sunder, 2011. "IFRS monopoly: the Pied Piper of financial reporting," Accounting and Business Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(3), pages 291-306, August.
  5. Shyam Sunder, 2002. "Extensive Income and Value of the Firm: Who Gets What?," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2607, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Jun 2009.
  6. Shyam Sunder, 2007. "Uniform Financial Reporting Standards: Reconsidering the Top-Down Push," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2572, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Sep 2007.
  7. Jonathan C. Glover & Anil Arya & Shyam NMI Sunder, 1999. "Earnings Management and the Revelation Principle," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm120, Yale School of Management.
  8. Shyam Sunder, 2005. "Social Norms versus Standards of Accounting," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2525, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Sep 2005.
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