An Analysis of the FASB's Dissenting Opinions and the Conceptual Framework

47 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2014

See all articles by Michael E. Bradbury

Michael E. Bradbury

Massey University

Julie Harrison

The University of Auckland Business School

Date Written: July 10, 2014


In this paper we report the results of a content analysis of dissenting opinions found in Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) standards. During 1973 to 2009 the FASB issued 171 financial accounting standards. Half of these standards contained dissenting opinions. We identify and classify dissenting opinions based on whether the arguments are conceptual (conceptual-framework related and non-framework related) or non-conceptual (e.g., scope, due process). We examine whether the types and frequencies of arguments change over time in response to the development of the FASB’s conceptual framework. We also examine the arguments used in terms of the FASB’s recently released Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts No. 8 and the American Accounting Association’s Financial Accounting Committee’s criteria for quality of accounting standards (AAA 1998). The results document the use of framework concepts and have implications for future revisions of the conceptual framework.

Keywords: FASB, Due Process, Dissenting Opinions, Content Analysis, Conceptual Framework

JEL Classification: M41

Suggested Citation

Bradbury, Michael E. and Harrison, Julie A, An Analysis of the FASB's Dissenting Opinions and the Conceptual Framework (July 10, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Michael E. Bradbury (Contact Author)

Massey University ( email )

School of Accountancy
Private Bag 102 904
New Zealand
64 9 414 0800 (Phone)
64 9 441 8133 (Fax)

Julie A Harrison

The University of Auckland Business School ( email )

Department of Accounting & Finance
Private Bag 92019
Auckland City, 1142
New Zealand

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