Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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Financial Accounting and Auditing in different contexts

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There is so much more to Accounting than just the reactions of investors to public disclosures in audited financial statements.

Yet to read the field’s major journals you would think that is the main focus of accounting number creation.

Many entities create, rely on and use accounting numbers or attempt to give other numbers the rigorous properties associated with accounting numbers. Many other disciplines attempt to replicate the rigor of financial statement auditing (albeit without the fatal flaw of the preparer paying the user!) to provide assurance to third parties.

Do we have such a finance envy that the only way we see accounting and auditing as important is if it can be measured correlatively with stock market data?

There is tons of accounting and auditing done by governments at all levels and not for profit organizations. Indeed, the numbers produced by those organizations account for nearly 50% of the GDP of many developed countries. Yet rarely are those numbers the focus of our major journals.

Government and not for profit accounting and auditing are often hived off into specialist courses as not being of “general interest” to accounting students. Are we focusing on the wrong markets?


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