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Implications for GAAP from an Analysis of Positive Research in Accounting

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Author Info

  • S.P. Kothari

    ()
    (MIT Sloan School of Management)

  • Karthik Ramanna

    ()
    (Harvard Business School, Accounting and Management Unit)

  • Douglas J. Skinner

    ()
    (University of Chicago Booth School of Business)

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    Abstract

    Based on extant literature, we review the positive theory of GAAP. The theory predicts that GAAP's principal focus is on control (performance measurement and stewardship) and that verifiability and conservatism are critical features of a GAAP shaped by market forces. We recognize the advantage of using fair values in circumstances where these are based on observable prices in liquid secondary markets, but caution against expanding fair values to financial reporting more generally. We conclude that rather than converging U.S. GAAP with IFRS, competition between the FASB and the IASB would allow GAAP to better respond to market forces.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 09-137.

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    Length: 126 pages
    Date of creation: May 2009
    Date of revision: Sep 2010
    Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:09-137

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    Cited by:
    1. Gao, Pingyang, 2013. "A measurement approach to conservatism and earnings management," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 251-268.
    2. Badertscher, Brad A. & Collins, Daniel W. & Lys, Thomas Z., 2012. "Discretionary accounting choices and the predictive ability of accruals with respect to future cash flows," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 330-352.
    3. Murphy, Tim & O’Connell, Vincent & Ó hÓgartaigh, Ciarán, 2013. "Discourses surrounding the evolution of the IASB/FASB Conceptual Framework: What they reveal about the “living law” of accounting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 72-91.
    4. Jayaraman, Sudarshan, 2012. "The effect of enforcement on timely loss recognition: Evidence from insider trading laws," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 77-97.
    5. Venter, Elmar R. & Cahan, Steven F. & Emanuel, David, 2013. "Mandatory Earnings Disaggregation and the Persistence and Pricing of Earnings Components," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 26-53.
    6. Allen, Abigail & Ramanna, Karthik, 2013. "Towards an understanding of the role of standard setters in standard setting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 66-90.
    7. Ettredge, Michael & Huang, Ying & Zhang, Weining, 2012. "Earnings restatements and differential timeliness of accounting conservatism," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 489-503.
    8. Paul André & Andrei Filip & Luc Paugam, 2013. "Impact of Mandatory IFRS Adoption on Conditional Conservatism in Europe," Post-Print hal-00862683, HAL.
    9. Roland Königsgruber, 2013. "Expertise-based lobbying and accounting regulation," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 1009-1025, November.
    10. Mitica Pepi & Traian Cristin Nicolae, 2013. "Challenges Of Financial Audit - The Impact Of Introducing Unique Regulation Of Financial Markets In Romania," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 1334-1344, July.
    11. Dechow, Patricia & Ge, Weili & Schrand, Catherine, 2010. "Understanding earnings quality: A review of the proxies, their determinants and their consequences," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 344-401, December.
    12. Hanlon, Michelle & Heitzman, Shane, 2010. "A review of tax research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 127-178, December.
    13. Dichev, Ilia D. & Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R. & Rajgopal, Shiva, 2013. "Earnings quality: Evidence from the field," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 1-33.

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