IFRS: On the Docility of Sophisticated Users in Preserving the Ideal of Comparability
Posted: 12 Jan 2010
Date Written: January 11, 2010
This paper questions the ideal of comparability which is often mobilized by standard setters when justifying new – or “improvement” to existing – accounting standards. The target of our analysis is constituted by the thoughts of sophisticated users of financial statements when reflecting about International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) implementation in Europe. Drawing on the work of Mary Douglas on purity and Michel Foucault on docility, it is argued and shown that sophisticated users tend to interpret aberrations – that is to say indications of incomparability which confront users in the flow of their professional lives – in ways which allow the ideal of comparability to be preserved. Important consequences ensuing from the docility of users in purifying aberrations are discussed.
Keywords: Boundaries of purity, Docility, IFRS, Myth production, Sophisticated users of financial statements
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation