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New opportunities for farm accounting


  • Josep Maria Argiles
  • Eric John Slof


This paper starts out to observe that there is a gap between the importance given to accounting and the low level of bookkeeping and accounting practice in the agricultural sector. Reasons for this gap are that current general accounting rules do not adapt very well to the particularities of farming and are difficult and expensive to implement. We then suggest that the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) and the recently issued International Accounting Standard on Agriculture (IAS 41) could be key elements to improve the use of accounting in European farms. We review the main contributions of IAS 41 and conclude that it provides a strong conceptual framework but might need further instruments for its implementation in practice, given the limitations of the agricultural sector. We continue to explain that FADN is an experienced network that has elaborated very detailed farm accounting procedures, and suggest that these procedures could be turned into a guide for implementing IAS 41. We report empirical data which indicate that current FADN reports are already considered useful by farmers for different purposes. Finally, we analyse in detail the compatibility of IAS 41 and FADN, identifying changes in the FADN procedures that would become necessary if the FADN procedures were to be used for implementing IAS 41 and some aspects of FADN that might have been worthwhile to consider for the final version of IAS 41.

Suggested Citation

  • Josep Maria Argiles & Eric John Slof, 2001. "New opportunities for farm accounting," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 361-383.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:10:y:2001:i:2:p:361-383
    DOI: 10.1080/09638180126640

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J.-C. Kroll, 1987. "Le Nouveau Plan Comptable : les occasions perdues," Économie rurale, Programme National Persée, vol. 180(1), pages 20-25.
    2. Laurence M. Crane & David J. Leatham, 1995. "External equity financing in agriculture via profit and loss sharing contracts: A proposed financial innovation," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(3), pages 223-233.
    3. Streeter, Deborah H, 1992. "Electronic Information Systems and Farmer Decision Making: Five Case Studies," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 19(1), pages 97-113.
    4. John Flower, 1998. "The future shape of harmonization: a reply," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 331-333.
    5. F. André, 1987. "Vers un renouveau de la formation économique des agriculteurs ?," Économie rurale, Programme National Persée, vol. 177(1), pages 53-56.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rute Gonçalves & Patrícia Lopes, 2014. "Accounting in Agriculture: Disclosure practices of listed firms," FEP Working Papers 530, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    2. Josep Maria Argiles Bosch & Josep Garcia Blandon, 2005. "Driver costs in small firms: empirical analysis for farms," Working Papers in Economics 140, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.

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