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De la diversité des pratiques comptables à l'objet de la comptabilité

Listed author(s):
  • Karine Fabre


    (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - Université Paris-Dauphine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

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    Industrialization and the constant flow of technical innovations in the late 19th century altered significantly the structure of corporate balance sheets, in which assets became increasingly important. These changes in technical environment resulted in a greater need of external sources of financing, thus influencing the French accounting model in the early 20th century. The role of accounting changed towards an informational instrument, due to the introduction of new stakeholders of the company. Furthermore, the large degree of freedom due to the absence of accounting standards allowed a trade off between autofinancing and shareholders' remuneration. In particular, asset valuation practices made such trade off possible. The case study concerning L'Air Liquide, from its creation to 1939, illustrates the new challenges emerged for the accounting system in the early 20th century and highlights the importance of asset valuation in this context. The study of the financial structure and of the accounting choices of this company shows a close relationship between the accounting system and the evolution of capitalism.

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    Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00498682.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2009
    Publication status: Published in Entreprises et Histoire, Eska, 2009, 4 (57), pp.96-110
    Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00498682
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