The Pure Logic of Accounting: A Critique of the Fair Value Revolution
When international accounting standards were renamed to become international financial reporting standards, this seemed to imply that accounting no longer needed to exist, but rather had to be reconsidered as a part of financial communication and advertising. Does traditional accountability no longer matter? Betrayed investors and globalized stakeholders would dissent. A difference of nature continues to exist between fair values disclosed by managers and certified by auditors, and the actual performance generated by the enterprise entity through time, space, and interaction. In a world shaped by complex organizations facing unfolding changes, hazard and limited knowledge, the quest for fundamental principles of accounting is not academic. Accounting principles constitute a primary way that the creation and allocation of business incomes is governed; that is, fairly managed and regulated in the public interest, having respect to “other people interests.” This article adopts a dualistic posture that opposes the accounting conceptual frameworks based on fair value (market basis) and historical cost and revenue (process basis). The fundamental premises about the underlying economics of the enterprise entity are discussed, including the representation of the business and the concepts of asset and liability. References are made to the case of accounting for intangibles, and to the distinction between equities and liabilities. The cost and revenue accounting perspective is then defended in terms of accountability, but also from the informational viewpoint: historical accounting information plays a special role as a lighthouse in the dynamic and strategic setting of the Share Exchange. In particular, two refinements of the historical cost (and revenue) accounting model are suggested. The first one regards the treatment of earned revenues from continuing operations, and the second, the recognition of shareholders' equity interest computed on the actual funds provided in the past, coupled with the distinction between shareholders' equity and entity equity.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Publication status:||Published in Accounting, Economics, and Law, 2011, Vol. 1 (Iss. 1), pp.2-46|
|Note:||View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00561894|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Yuri Biondi & Arnaldo Canziani & Thierry Kirat, 2007. "The Firm as an Entity: Implications for Economics, Accounting, and the Law," Post-Print halshs-00203355, HAL.
- Biondi Yuri, 2011.
"Disagreement-Based Trading and Speculation: Implications for Financial Regulation and Economic Theory,"
Accounting, Economics, and Law: A Convivium,
De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-8, January.
- Yuri Biondi, 2011. "Disagreement-Based Trading and Speculation: Implications for Financial Regulation and Economic Theory," Post-Print hal-00561904, HAL.
- Takatera, Sadao & Sawabe, Norio, 2000. "Time and space in income accounting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 787-798, November.
- Walter Novaes & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "Bureaucracy as a Mechanism to Generate Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(2), pages 245-259, Summer.
- Walter Novaes & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Bureaucracy as a Mechanism to Generate Information," CRSP working papers 477, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
- Walter Novaes & Luigi Zingales, 2003. "Bureaucracy as a Mechanism to Generate Information," NBER Working Papers 9763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Novaes, Walter & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "Bureaucracy as a Mechanism to Generate Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 3945, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Hirota, Shinichi & Sunder, Shyam, 2007. "Price bubbles sans dividend anchors: Evidence from laboratory stock markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1875-1909, June.
- Shin'ichi Hirota & Shyam Sunder, 2002. "Price Bubbles Sans Dividend Anchors: Evidence from Laboratory Stock Markets," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2616, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Feb 2007.
- Shinichi Hirota & Shyam Sunder, 2005. "Price Bubbles sans Dividend Anchors: Evidence from Laboratory Stock Markets," ISER Discussion Paper 0634, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
- Basu, Sudipta, 1997. "The conservatism principle and the asymmetric timeliness of earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 3-37, December.
- Guillaume Plantin & Haresh Sapra & Hyun Song Shin, 2008. "Marking-to-Market: Panacea or Pandora's Box?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 435-460, 05.
- Guillaume Plantin & Haresh Sapra & Hyun Shin, "undated". "Marking to Market: Panacea or Pandora’s Box ?," GSIA Working Papers 2005-E4, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
- Coase, Ronald H., 1990. "Accounting and the theory of the firm," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-3), pages 3-13, January.
- Robert Boyer, 2007. "Assessing the impact of fair value upon financial crises," Post-Print hal-00812978, HAL.
- Lavoie, Don, 1987. "The accounting of interpretations and the interpretation of accounts: The communicative function of "the language of business"," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 579-604, October.
- Yuri Biondi, 2005. "The firm as an Entity: Management, Organization, Accounting," Post-Print halshs-00203036, HAL.
- Williams, Paul F., 1987. "The legitimate concern with fairness," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 169-189, March.
- repec:bla:joares:v:37:y:1999:i:2:p:353-385 is not listed on IDEAS
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
- Hines, Ruth D., 1988. "Financial accounting: In communicating reality, we construct reality," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 251-261, April. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)