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Functions of accounting -- a discussion

Author

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  • Mellemvik, Frode
  • Monsen, Norvald
  • Olson, Olov

Abstract

From the many accounting objectives which have been suggested, it seems that the intended function of accounting is to reduce uncertainty in control and decision-making processes. However, after conducting a literature search of empirical studies of accounting in action we came to three conclusions about the functions assigned to accounting. First, we suggest that a number of functions are assigned to accounting in action. Second, there is a reciprocal relationship between accounting and the functions assigned to it. Third, there is a complex relationship between accounting and its context. The main function of accounting in a strong organizational context with interdependent organizations is to support legitimization processes, while the main function of accounting in a strong organization with a dependent environment is to support the organization in its exercise of power.

Suggested Citation

  • Mellemvik, Frode & Monsen, Norvald & Olson, Olov, 1988. "Functions of accounting -- a discussion," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 4(3-4), pages 101-119.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:scaman:v:4:y:1988:i:3-4:p:101-119
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    Cited by:

    1. Norvald Monsen & Salme Nasi, 1998. "The Contingency Model of Governmental Accounting Innovations: a discussion," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 275-288.
    2. Olov Olson & Christopher Humphrey & James Guthrie, 2001. "Caught in an evaluatory trap: a dilemma for public services under NPFM," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 505-522.
    3. repec:eee:crpeac:v:25:y:2014:i:8:p:683-708 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:jbrese:v:88:y:2018:i:c:p:527-534 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:crpeac:v:22:y:2011:i:3:p:247-258 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:accfor:v:37:y:2013:i:1:p:67-80 is not listed on IDEAS

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