An Evolving Conceptual Framework?

19 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2004

See all articles by Graeme Dean

Graeme Dean

The University of Sydney - Discipline of Accounting

Frank Clarke

University of Newcastle, Australia - Department of Accounting & Finance

Abstract

The history of the conceptual framework (CF) exercise indicates more a search for a rationale for current practice than a reaffirmation of the legal, social and economic (especially financial) framework within which accounting is to function, and the necessary shape of a compatible system of accounting. Interestingly, issues similar to those presaging the formation of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' Wheat and Trueblood Committees (antecedents of the formation of the Financial Accounting Standards Board in 1973 and its CF project in 1976) are evident again today. Such events led to a reconsideration of the effectiveness of CFs in their current form as 'constitutions'. Arguably, the framework of concepts underpinning ordinary, everyday commerce is the CF of accounting. The quest for a unique constitution-based CF of accounting, independent of observables, has been misplaced, insofar it is unnecessary. Arguably, if more attention had been given to the function of accounting the futility of the CF exercise could have been avoided.

JEL Classification: M41, M44, M47

Suggested Citation

Dean, Graeme and Clarke, Frank, An Evolving Conceptual Framework?. Abacus, Vol. 39, pp. 279-297, October 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=480889

Graeme Dean (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney - Discipline of Accounting ( email )

H69 Economics and Business Building
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
00 612 692 3520 (Phone)
00 612 692 4202 (Fax)

Frank Clarke

University of Newcastle, Australia - Department of Accounting & Finance ( email )

University Drive
Callaghan 2308, New South Wales
Australia
+61 2 434 84136 (Phone)
+61 2 434 84101 (Fax)

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