Saying No in Standard Setting: An Examination of FASB Board Members’ Voting Decisions

Posted: 10 Jan 2014 Last revised: 9 Sep 2014

See all articles by John (Xuefeng) Jiang

John (Xuefeng) Jiang

Michigan State University

Isabel Yanyan Wang

Michigan State University

Daniel Wangerin

Wisconsin School of Business

Date Written: September 3, 2014


More than half of the 163 Statements of Financial Accounting Standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standard Board (FASB) between 1973 and 2007 were passed with dissenting votes. In this study, we investigate the factors associated with FASB board members’ decision to dissent. We find that board members with preparer and academic backgrounds are more likely to dissent compared to those with a public accounting background, and the impact of board members’ professional backgrounds varies by the type of issues the accounting standards address. Our results also show that military experience and educational background are associated with the likelihood of dissent. In addition, we find that younger board members and those at the end of their term are more likely to dissent, perhaps to signal a different point of view. Finally, our analyses of board members’ written dissenting opinions show that professional backgrounds are associated with different perspectives in how board members evaluate an accounting standard.

Keywords: Financial Accounting Standards Board, the FASB, accounting standards, standard-setting, career concerns, individual differences

JEL Classification: D70, D78, J2, M41, M48, M50

Suggested Citation

Jiang, John (Xuefeng) and Wang, Isabel and Wangerin, Daniel D., Saying No in Standard Setting: An Examination of FASB Board Members’ Voting Decisions (September 3, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

John (Xuefeng) Jiang

Michigan State University ( email )

632 Bogue St Ste N505
Eli Broad College of Business
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
517-432-3031 (Phone)
517-432-1101 (Fax)


Isabel Wang

Michigan State University ( email )

N233 Business Complex
Broad School of Business
East Lansing, MI 48824-1122
United States


Daniel D. Wangerin (Contact Author)

Wisconsin School of Business ( email )

975 University Avenue
4104 Grainger Hall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

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