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Semiotics, Hermeneutics and Cash: An Essay on the True and Fair View

29 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2003  

Lawrence A. Cunningham

George Washington University


Cash is king. As countries struggle to develop accounting standards that translate across borders, the cash flow statement is a promising place to look. This essay reviews global accounting practices in several countries, showing how angst expressed in concepts such as semiotics and hermeneutics are both fascinating and unnecessary. In doing so, it considers continuing weaknesses in the US regulatory model, including in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and shows ways that markets have been ahead of regulators in developing convergence in financial reporting.

Keywords: cash flow statement, true and fair view, fairly presents, Sarbanes-Oxley, global accounting, comparative accounting

JEL Classification: M41, M47, G34

Suggested Citation

Cunningham, Lawrence A., Semiotics, Hermeneutics and Cash: An Essay on the True and Fair View. Boston College Law School Research Paper No. 06. Available at SSRN: or

Lawrence A. Cunningham (Contact Author)

George Washington University ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-0732 (Phone)

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