Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

Home » Uncategorized » EBAA – the answer is not an individual standard setter who is an academic

EBAA – the answer is not an individual standard setter who is an academic


One of the solutions to date to try and help improve the input of academic research on standard setting is the appointment of an academic member of the standard setting body be it FASB, AASB, etc.

Yet given the amount of research, the differences in research methods, the complexity of making analogies from research that might be related and informative but is not directly on point, it is impossible for any academic member of a standard setting board to be able to bring all relevant research into standard setting.

So while a nice idea, and maybe even a necessary condition, the appointment of an academic member (even the most brilliant of academic minds) is not going to solve the issue of moving standard setting to being at least partially based on the evidence that is available in the vast set of research on various auditing and accounting topics.  Hence, even well intentioned standard setting bodies who pick the best available minds are not going to get someone who is able to synthesize all the research that might bear on a topic.  Yet sometimes I have seen that such bodies do not even get this far as they search for someone that can fill the position in form (i.e. they are an academic at a suitable university with some publications but exhibit an interest in standard setting and practice rather than research).  PLEASE note that I have a specific Canadian instance  (actually several) in mind here, nothing international or US based albeit no doubt they exist!  So while a hats off to this idea, we now have almost 25 years of experience with academies on standard setting boards around the world and that has proven to be insufficient to bring on a consistent basis the best research consensus to bear on accounting and auditing standard setting.

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