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An Axiomatic Theory of Accounting Measurement


Willett, RJ, An Axiomatic Theory of Accounting Measurement, Accounting and Business Research, 17, (66) pp. 155-171. ISSN 0001-4788 (1987) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright Routledge 1987

DOI: doi:10.1080/00014788.1987.9729794


The article suggests a descriptive, axiomatic type of conceptual framework for conventional accounting measurement practice. The disclosure problem in financial accounting is caused by the need to decide what, of all the available numerical and nonnumerical information, to include in a set of financial reports. The measurement problem in financial accounting is chiefly concerned with explaining the nature of the specifically numerical information produced by accounting systems, whether or not it is disclosed in financial statements. The problems of measuring the accounting attribute remain constant even though the resulting numerical information may be disclosed to differing third parties such as management, investors and creditors. The common assumptions which are made by different user groups concerning the numerical information contained in financial statements are arithmetic in character. As soon as these arithmetic properties are questioned, however, it becomes clear that they are not self-evident. The problems raised in interpreting the arithmetic properties of accounting data appear to be due to the accountant's lack of understanding of the attribute which is being measured in financial statements.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, auditing and accountability
Research Field:Accounting theory and standards
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Measurement standards and calibration services
Objective Field:Service industries standards and calibrations
UTAS Author:Willett, RJ (Professor Roger Willett)
ID Code:100583
Year Published:1987
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2015-05-20
Last Modified:2015-06-09

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