English-language theories of financial reporting

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The chapter provides a historical overview of the principal theories of financial reporting in the English language. Early attempts to generalise from practice were supplemented with applications of economic theory, as well as ideas drawn from mathematics, systems theory, organisation theory, human behaviour and other disciplines to develop theories that attempted to improve current financial reporting practice. This has culminated in the development of conceptual frameworks for financial reporting. From the late 1960s, attempts have been developed to explain and predict accounting practice, and the impact of financial reporting information on the behaviour of investors and others.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Accounting, Reporting and Regulation
EditorsCarien van Mourik, Peter Walton
Place of PublicationAbingdon
ISBN (Electronic)9780203103203
ISBN (Print)9780415625739
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Financial reporting
  • Accounting theories
  • History of Accounting
  • Economic income
  • User needs
  • Positive accounting theory

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