IFRS: On the Docility of Sophisticated Users in Preserving the Ideal of Comparability

Posted: 12 Jan 2010

See all articles by Sylvain Durocher

Sylvain Durocher

University of Ottawa - Telfer School of Management

Yves Gendron

Université Laval

Date Written: January 11, 2010

Abstract

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

Durocher, Sylvain and Gendron, Yves, IFRS: On the Docility of Sophisticated Users in Preserving the Ideal of Comparability (January 11, 2010). European Accounting Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1534986

Sylvain Durocher (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Telfer School of Management ( email )

136 Jean-Jacques Lussier Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada

Yves Gendron

Université Laval ( email )

Faculte des sciences de l'administration
2325 rue de la Terrasse, Local 2636
Quebec City, Quebec G1V 0A6
Canada
418-656-2131 ext. 2431 (Phone)
418-656-7746 (Fax)

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