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Focus on Accounting

Accounting – Profession vs. Science


Zsuzsanna Ilona Kovács
Assistant Lecturer, Faculty of Economics, University of Szeged, Institute of Finance and International Economic Relations Division of Accountancy

István Deák
PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics, University of Szeged, Institute of Finance and International Economic Relations Division of Accountancy

Published in: Public Finance Quarterly 2012/4 (p. 426-436.)


Summary: Defining accounting as a scientific field has been a matter of controversy. This paper is intended to describe the scientific grounds of accounting by way of analysing the International Financial Reporting Standards system. We compare T. S. Kuhn’s theory of scientific philosophy with the regulations and evolution of the selected reporting system. We conclude that the elements of the disciplinary matrix of accounting are prescribed by the Framework and by the specific problem-solving methods associated with the standards. Over the last few decades, the economy has been subject to fundamental changes that have tested the resilience of any accounting system. These challenges to the paradigm have launched a series of shifts in the field of international accounting, which correspond to the steps of scientific revolutions described by Kuhn. At present, standard setters are focused on renewing the reporting paradigm and formulating globally relevant standards.

Keywords: international financial reporting, disciplinary matrix, scientific revolutions

Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) kód: M41, A12


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