• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The adoption by the Accounting Standards Board of its Statement of Principles for Financial Reporting in December 1999 means that we now have an authoritative conceptual framework which should govern the production of British financial statements. Yet while the text of the Statement is directed at members of the accounting profession, students of accounting will need to understand the framework and its repercussions. An Introduction to Modern Financial Reporting Theory explains the content of the Statement in an accessible language, specifically for the student of accounting and finance. This text will be of direct and practical interest to students who need to understand the contents of the new framework, which helps to explain: why and how financial reporting is carried out; why financial statements are prepared in the way that they are; why accounting standards specify one method rather than another; how the methods specified by accounting standards relate to each other; how practice has developed and will continue to develop. Brian Rutherford emphasizes and enlarges on the key features of the framework, provides many more examples, shows how the framework applies in practice and also offers some criticisms of its content. The book clarifies to students why various methods and practices in accounting have evolved, while illustrating how they relate to each other and to the underlying function of financial reporting. This text will be essential reading on university and professional courses in advanced financial accounting, particularly courses on Accounting Theory and Financial Reporting. Brian Rutherford is Professor of Accounting at Canterbury Business School, University Kent at Canterbury.

The Role of Financial Reporting Theory
The role of financial reporting theory

It is possible to make a useful working distinction between accounting theories and theories of accounting (see, for example, Most, 1982: Chapter 3). Accounting theories are the abstract systems of reasoning to which accountants refer (or could refer) in carrying out their practical work of generating accounting numbers. They can be contrasted with theories of accounting, which seek to explain the human activity known as accountancy and which, because accountancy is a human activity, are generally formulated within the domain of the social sciences. We might make a similar distinction between medical theories, that is, the theories drawn from biology, chemistry, and so on which underlie the treatments prescribed by clinicians, and economic and ...

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