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A theoretical contribution to 21st Century problems in financial reporting


  • David Alexander
  • Roberta Fasiello


The Italian tradition known as ‘Economia Aziendale’ is longstanding and well known in Italy. It broadly spans the 20th Century, with its apotheosis appearing in the 1920s with Gino Zappa. It is not very well-known elsewhere. Its logical conclusions for financial reporting are not applied in practice in Italy, and indeed never have been. They are not applied in the (very different) field of IFRS and European Directive requirements either. Our research question is to investigate the proposition that they significantly should be so applied. Our key area of study, therefore, is the complex and multi-faceted problem of income measurement and asset valuation, valuation issues in short. In order to properly investigate these considerations, we present a thorough survey of the theoretical development and arguments of the EA tradition, showing its logicality and usefulness, and contrasting these effects with the present-day regulatory systems. This forms the major theoretical element of the paper. In summary, therefore, the paper could be characterised as an analytical presentation of major theoretical arguments, with significant application to the real world of today and tomorrow. The EA tradition is not new. But we demonstrate its current relevance, and expose it to an international audience.

Suggested Citation

  • David Alexander & Roberta Fasiello, 2018. "A theoretical contribution to 21st Century problems in financial reporting," FINANCIAL REPORTING, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2018(1), pages 41-66.
  • Handle: RePEc:fan:frfrfr:v:html10.3280/fr2018-001002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Alexander, 2012. "Is there such a thing as European Financial Reporting?," FINANCIAL REPORTING, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2012(4), pages 7-13.
    2. Francesco Capalbo & Frank Clarke, 2006. "The Italian economia aziendale and chambers' CoCoA," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 42(1), pages 66-86.
    3. Zambon, Stefano & Zan, Luca, 2000. "Accounting relativism: the unstable relationship between income measurement and theories of the firm," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 799-822, November.
    4. Massimo Sargiacomo & Stefania Servalli & Paolo Andrei, 2012. "Fabio Besta: accounting thinker and accounting history pioneer," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 249-267, November.
    5. Enrico Viganò & Richard Mattessich, 2007. "Accounting research in Italy: second half of the 20th century," Review of Accounting and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 6(1), pages 24-41, February.
    6. Valerio Antonelli & Massimo Sargiacomo, 2015. "Alberto Ceccherelli (1885-1958): pioneer in the history of accounting practice and leader in international dissemination," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(2), pages 121-144, July.
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