Some conceptual tensions in financial reporting

Yuri Biondi, Jonathan Glover, Karim Jamal, James A. Ohlson, Stephen H. Penman, Shyam Sunder, Eiko Tsujiyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examine four key conceptual tensions that are at the heart of many financial reporting dilemmas: stocks versus flows, ex ante versus ex post, conventions versus economic substance, and top-down design versus bottom-up evolution as sources of accounting practice. Associated with each of these conceptual dimensions is an accounting duality; in some cases, one side (e.g., stocks) is easier to measure in a reliable manner, while the other side (e.g., flows) is easier to measure in other instances. We suggest that financial reporting would benefit from a willingness to pay attention to, and find compromise between, both sides of these tensions; forcing a choice of one over the other does not serve to improve financial reporting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalAccounting Horizons
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Financial reporting
Top-down
Bottom-up
Duality
Compromise
Economics
Willingness-to-pay
Accounting practices

Keywords

  • Conceptual tensions
  • Conventions-economic features
  • Design-evolution
  • Ex ante-ex post
  • Stocks-flows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting

Cite this

Biondi, Y., Glover, J., Jamal, K., Ohlson, J. A., Penman, S. H., Sunder, S., & Tsujiyama, E. (2012). Some conceptual tensions in financial reporting. Accounting Horizons, 26(1), 125-133. https://doi.org/10.2308/acch-50087

Some conceptual tensions in financial reporting. / Biondi, Yuri; Glover, Jonathan; Jamal, Karim; Ohlson, James A.; Penman, Stephen H.; Sunder, Shyam; Tsujiyama, Eiko.

In: Accounting Horizons, Vol. 26, No. 1, 03.2012, p. 125-133.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Biondi, Y, Glover, J, Jamal, K, Ohlson, JA, Penman, SH, Sunder, S & Tsujiyama, E 2012, 'Some conceptual tensions in financial reporting', Accounting Horizons, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 125-133. https://doi.org/10.2308/acch-50087
Biondi Y, Glover J, Jamal K, Ohlson JA, Penman SH, Sunder S et al. Some conceptual tensions in financial reporting. Accounting Horizons. 2012 Mar;26(1):125-133. https://doi.org/10.2308/acch-50087
Biondi, Yuri ; Glover, Jonathan ; Jamal, Karim ; Ohlson, James A. ; Penman, Stephen H. ; Sunder, Shyam ; Tsujiyama, Eiko. / Some conceptual tensions in financial reporting. In: Accounting Horizons. 2012 ; Vol. 26, No. 1. pp. 125-133.
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