Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

Home » Current thoughts » The lack of research in core texts

The lack of research in core texts

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Have you ever noticed that accounting textbooks rarely mention accounting research? Compare that to textbooks in organizational behavior, marketing, human resource management, finance and economics. Indeed, one has to turn to methods courses like statistics to find a similar lack of emphasis on research. Mind you statistical books have proofs and you know that someone had to come up with those proofs in the first place!

So does that mean there is no research underlying accounting? As you know by now most textbooks in financial accounting and tax are focused on standards (financial) and the law and its interpretation (tax). Indeed, about the only book you might have seen there is research underlying its recommendations is in the Management Control Systems course that uses the Merchant and van der Stede textbook.  Sure there is lots of research in financial statement analysis books but what about the core audit, tax and financial accounting texts????  Even in “Accounting Theory” which should be known as “Financial Accounting Theory (FAT is a great abbreviation) there is only one textbook that is heavily research based.  If we were textbook writers in many evidence based fields they would laugh at our texts!!!


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