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Debating Accounting Principles and Policies: the Case of Goodwill, 1880-1921

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  • Julie Cooper
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    Abstract

    Debate surrounding the publication of FRS 10 (ASB, 1997) in the UK displayed support for a variety of accounting policies for goodwill, advocated for a variety of practical and conceptual reasons. An analysis of papers written on goodwill between 1884 and 1921 explores whether this lack of unanimity is a recent phenomenon or not. The paper concludes that during this earlier period there were a number of areas of agreement regarding goodwill but, although a majority of authorities favoured a capitalise/amortise policy, there was a significant difference of opinion relating to its treatment once recorded in the accounts. Analysis also suggests that advocated policies were derived from a desire to promote and operationalise the principle of prudence.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Accounting History Review.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 241-264

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:acbsfi:v:17:y:2007:i:2:p:241-264

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    Keywords: Goodwill; profit measurement; prudence;

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