Is There Any Scientific Basis for Accounting? Implications for Practice, Research and Education
45 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2015 Last revised: 16 Dec 2016
Date Written: August 21, 2015
This essay is based on a keynote speech at the 2014 Journal of International Accounting Research (JIAR) Conference. That talk was built upon a 2009 American Accounting Association (AAA) annual meeting panel presentation titled “Is there any scientific legitimacy to what we teach in Accounting 101?” I evaluate whether accounting practice, regulation, research and teaching have a strong underlying scientific basis. I argue that recent accounting research, regulation and teaching are often based on unscientific ideology but that evolved accounting practice embeds scientific laws even if accountants are largely unaware of them. Accounting researchers have an opportunity to expand scientific inquiry in accounting by improving their research designs and exploring uses of accounting outside formal capital markets using field studies and experiments.
Keywords: conservation laws, constructal law, economic evolution, mean reversion, creation myths
JEL Classification: A23, B23, B26, B52, C12, I21, J44, M41, M48, N22, O31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation