nep-acc New Economics Papers
on Accounting and Auditing
Issue of 2010‒03‒28
nine papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. Reconstructing Corporate Business History using Accounting Data By Mallick, Indrajit
  2. Education in Accounting using an Interactive System By Patrut, Bogdan
  3. The Problem of Financial Accounting Measurement in Italian Accounting Thought between the 19th and the 20th Century From “Exchange Value” to “Historical Cost” By Enrico Gonella
  4. Writing masters and accountants in England – a study of occupation, status and ambition in the early modern period By John Richard Edwards
  5. Strengthening the resilience of the banking sector: Proposals to strengthen global capital and liquidity regulations By Ojo, Marianne
  6. Meanings and Roots of the Word “Accounting” A Comparative Study of Sixty Five Languages By Jacques Richard
  7. Founder Succession and Accounting Properties By Fan, Joseph P.H.; Wong, T.J.; Zhang, Tianyu
  8. Participation and Contributions in Tax-deferred Retirement Accounts: Evidence from Social Security Records By Marjorie Honig; Irena Dushi
  9. Federal Tax Policies and Farm Households By Durst, Ron

  1. By: Mallick, Indrajit
    Abstract: This paper attempts to outline a methodology for reconstructing the history of big enterprise. The problem is to construct an institutional narrative that captures the essential dynamics of corporate institution creation, institutional change, development into a large corporation and its maturity. It is argued that accounting data can be one of the most important inputs in this regard. However, accounting data is necessary but not sufficient for a complete account of the history of a large corporate enterprise. Similarly, other sources of information are necessary but not sufficient for the above purpose without accounting data. This paper focuses on the use of accounting data for reconstructing corporate history and also addresses partially how such data can be combined with other sources of information to provide a complete story. We delve briefly into the nature of accounting data and the structure of accounting record keeping. Reconstructing corporate history involves asking appropriate questions on financial structure, capital budgeting and investments, operations and strategy that accounting data reveal.
    Keywords: Corporate Business History; Accounting Data
    JEL: N8 N00 G00
    Date: 2010–03–12
  2. By: Patrut, Bogdan
    Abstract: This paper represents a summary of a research report and the results of developing an educational software, including a multi-agent system for teaching accounting bases and financial accounting. The paper describes the structure of the multi-agent system, defined as a complex network of s-agents. Each s-agent contains 6 pedagogical agents and a coordinator agent. We have defined a new architecture (BeSGOTE) that extends the BDI architecture for intelligent agents and we have defined a mixing-up relation among the accounts, presenting the way in which it can be used for testing students.
    Keywords: Computer Aided Education; Multi-Agent System; Artificial Intelligence; Accounting Education
    JEL: M53 A20 C88
    Date: 2010–03–01
  3. By: Enrico Gonella (università di pisa - Università di Pisa)
    Abstract: The main subject of the paper is the theory of accounting measurement as observed in its historical development. More notably, the research concerns theoretical concepts of such discipline, as developed by the Italian doctrine in a very specific age, that is, between the second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, i.e. from the theorization of the “exchange value rule” to the theorization of the “historical cost principle”. As it was impossible to examine the thought of the many scholars who gave their contribution, each one in his own way, to the development of this subject, we deemed it appropriate to focus our attention on those scholars who left their mark on the accounting history in the analyzed period. We will mention in particular such scholars as Francesco Villa, Giovanni Rossi, Fabio Besta, Gino Zappa, the latter seen in the early stage of his thinking. The analysis of the different theories devised by the above-mentioned masters, which cannot but be conducted within the limited length of this paper, led us to identify three logical steps in the evolution of the theories that have been developed on the subject in the considered phase. The results of the study can be summarized in the following considerations. In the second half of the nineteenth century, some of the best accounting experts, faced with the need to properly develop the problem of accounting measurement, thought it appropriate to rely on concepts that belonged to similar sciences, such as economics and real estate appraisal discipline, by blindly borrowing the theory of value from the former and the theory of valuation from the latter. During such age, everything hinged around the concept of “exchange value”. At the dawn of the last century, the scholars' attitude tended to become more critical. Doctrine in particular began to wonder about a subject that was crucial to the theory of accounting measurement, notably the informative purposes from which such theory takes inspiration. At the same time, a first principle took shape, which is still the basis of the theory of accounting measurement, which might be called the finalistic principle of value, which lays down that different measurement criteria must be applied to different informative purposes. An alternative criterion to that of the “exchange value” thus makes its appearance on the scene of the accounting measurement, notably, the historical cost principle. With its introduction and above all with the relinquishment of the combination of economic cost that had been initially accepted by the doctrine and the later transition to the combination of manufacturing cost, the accounting world managed to get rid, once and for all, of economic and valuative assumptions, thus becoming independent in its accounting measurements. This is mainly due to the scholars' ability to learn precious lessons from the observation of the accounting scene of the time.
    Keywords: Accounting History, Financial Accounting Measurement, Asset Valuation, Exchange Value, Cost Principle, Combinations of Costs, Italy.
    Date: 2010
  4. By: John Richard Edwards (The accounting and business history research group - Cardiff University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to address the lack of knowledge of the accounting occupational group in England prior to the formation of professional accounting bodies. It does so by focusing on attempts made by the occupational group of writing masters and accountants to establish a recognisable persona in the public domain, in England, during the seventeenth and eighteenth century, and to enhance that identity by behaving in a manner designed to convince the public of the professionalism associated with themselves and their work. The study is based principally on early accounting treatises and secondary sources drawn from beyond the accounting literature. Notions of identity, credentialism and jurisdiction are employed to help understand and evaluate the occupational history of writing masters and accountants. It is shown that writing masters and accountants emerged as specialist pedagogues providing expert business knowledge required in the counting houses of entities which flourished during a period of rapid commercial expansion in mercantilist Britain. Their demise as an occupational group may be attributed to a range of factors amongst which an emphasis on personal identity, the neglect of group identity and derogation of the writing craft were most important.
    Keywords: history ; accountants ; bookkeepers
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Ojo, Marianne
    Abstract: As well as addressing the Basel Committee's proposals to strengthen global capital and liquidity regulations, this paper also considers several reasons why information disclosure should be encouraged. These include the fact that imperfect information is considered to be a cause of market failure which “reduces the maximisation potential of regulatory competition”, and also because disclosure requirements would contribute to the reduction of risks which could be generated when granting reduced capital level rewards to banks who may have poor management systems. Furthermore it draws attention to the need for greater measures aimed at consolidating regulation within (and also extending regulation to) the securities markets – given the fact that „the globalisation of financial markets has made it possible for investors and capital seeking companies to switch to lightly regulated or completely unregulated markets.“
    Keywords: capital; liquidity; regulations; bank; Basel II; risks; disclosure
    JEL: K2 G2 D8
    Date: 2010–03
  6. By: Jacques Richard (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - CNRS : UMR7088 - Université Paris Dauphine - Paris IX)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to answer six main questions. Question one: what are the words that are actually used to denote “accounting” in the different nations that exist across the globe? Question two: can we classify these words into families and do these families correspond to the families of languages traditionally proposed by linguists? Question three: what families of words used to denote “accounting” are the most spoken in the world? Question four: what are the roots of these words or of these families of words? Question five: do these roots have different meanings and cast different angles of light on the nature of the “accounting science”? Question six: do these meanings imply to revisit the question of the relationship between words and objects such as debated by Michel Foucault? The main answers to these questions are that only six families of words are used to denote “accounting” for about 90% of people living on the earth; that these words are mainly not in line with the linguistic families; that the most spoken word for accounting is coming from the Semitic (practically Arabic) language; that the roots of the words used for denoting “accounting” express very different meanings that highlight the different facets of the accounting science and that , contrary to the Foucault's thesis, these words (roots) seem to give some representation of the complex nature of accounting.
    Keywords: accounting, history, etymology, epistemology, philosophy, linguistics
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Fan, Joseph P.H.; Wong, T.J.; Zhang, Tianyu
    Abstract: Using a sample of 231 entrepreneurial firm successions in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, we find that firms' unsigned discretionary accruals decrease while timely loss recognition increases subsequent to successions, suggesting a shift in accounting toward a less insider-based system. We argue that the change in accounting properties is due to the loss of specialized assets in the succession process, such as the entrepreneur's reputation and political/social networks, inducing the firm to adapt to market-based rather than relationship-based contracting. Moreover, we find that the extent of the shift in accounting is larger in founder successions than in subsequent (non-founder) successions, as the dissipation of specialized assets is greatest in founder successions.
    Keywords: Succession, founder, corporate governance, accounting properties
    JEL: G32 L14 M41
    Date: 2009–11
  8. By: Marjorie Honig (Hunter College and CUNY); Irena Dushi (Social Security Administration)
    Abstract: Social Security Administration W-2 records contain employee annual tax-deferred contributions for 1990-2003 and sufficient information to calculate tax-deferred contributions for 1984-1989. We use this information to compare tax-deferred contribution profiles of three cohorts of respondents in the Health and Retirement Study to determine whether younger cohorts saved relatively more at the same stage of the life cycle than had older cohorts. We find that participation in tax-deferred retirement plans increased substantially for all cohorts from 1984 to 2003, and that respondents in more recent cohorts were more likely to participate in such plans than respondents of the same ages in the earliest cohort. Their contributions as a percent of earnings were not significantly larger than those of the earliest cohort, however. Despite the increased availability of these employer-provided plans throughout this period, participation rates and contribution amounts remained low among respondents in the lower half of the earnings distribution.
    Date: 2010–01
  9. By: Durst, Ron
    Abstract: Significant changes in Federal individual income and estate tax policies have occurred over the last 10 years. Analysis suggests that changes in Federal tax provisions affecting both individual and business income taxes have reduced average tax rates for all farm households, resulting in the lowest tax burden on farm income and investment in a decade. Similarly, an analysis of the changes to Federal estate tax policies suggests that increases in the value of property that can be transferred to the next generation free of the estate tax, combined with special provisions for farmers and other small businesses, have greatly reduced the number of farm estates subject to the tax and the amount owed. While nearly 10 percent of commercial farm estates could owe tax in 2009, only 1 to 2 percent of all farm estates are estimated to be subject to the Federal estate tax this year.
    Keywords: income tax, estate tax, tax rates, estate, Federal tax policy, farm losses, commercial farms, Farm Management,
    Date: 2009–05

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