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Discuss about the Issues in Accounting Theory ?

Answer :


The recent assignment intends to offer a detailed description of the selected article“Half a Defence of Positive Accounting Research”. The article centres on the positive accounting in the great sense of the research program, which aims to develop casual human behaviour descriptions within the accounting structure devoid of “profit after tax” within accounting. Moreover, the huge positivist research initiative has lot of deficiencies in reality. Several complexities those are inherent encompass the casual generation of the speculative models for being weathered, increased reliance on the hypothesis testing and decreased attention on the parameters numerical values. 

Summary of the Article

Within this article, the researcher has intended to explore the positive approach related with the accounting research. Dorminey et al. (2016, pp. 20-55) stated that the accounting research of the positive approach is associated with wider intellectual project of scientific study that intends to evaluate the cause-impact association. Such deficiencies within positive research study are explained through choosing several sample papers that majorly consisted of auditing literature researches. It was gathered that positive research is recently used in counting and it is several loopholes in attaining the scientific objectives after selecting the sample researches for adjust with the objectives of the research. Moreover, the elaboration of Kuhn associated with “normal science” associates well with the accounting’s positive research. The prospects are described in details for Kuhnian crisis and revolution that can attain constructive accounting to attain its potential.

The researcher elaborated Popper’s criterion in order to demonstrate that induction is not adequate for gauging the correctness of a specific theory. Additionally, the article provided with a brief review on the theories of positive accounting misrepresentation. For elaborating the same, four classes of elaborations has been presented that encompass internal impacts, error measurements, relativity theory inefficiency and external effects (Ballwieser et al. 2012). For this reason, the researcher has observed that a particular theory cannot remain anecdotal by observations, however, it might select between more than two theories. Moreover, the decisive observations are deemed to falsify improper theories and it is only present in situation of support of a particular opposing theory.

The article has also explained a detailed weakness and logic dissection is linked withstatistical testing of hypothesis. Moreover, it is revealed that it is deemed extremely dilute version of the Propper logic. This is because the test out of 20 might be rejected incorrectly at the “5% significance level” (Bromwich 2016, p. 219). Moreover, the technical concern associated with testing of hypothesis in test statistic distribution considered within null hypothesis. Moreover, even if the technical issue cannot be resolved, there can be increased probability that the hypothesis testing might fail. This is present at the time only a particular alternative hypothesis is considered devoid of careful specification.


Research Hypothesis/Question

The mentioned research hypothesis has been developed for investigating the validity of positive accounting research:

H0: The universe exists and this is beyond an individual’s level of imagination.

H1: Every event in the world have many reasons that develops a part of the universe itself

H2: The individuals those are normal might gain highly reliable information regarding the international events with the support of cautious observation 

H3: The objective of the intellectual property is to employ observations in order to gain an international knowledge of the universe, particularly causation

For testing the first hypothesis, several examples of the positive research in the accounting has been presented. As per Bromwich and Scapens (2016, pp. 1-9) the conduction of rational self-interest among ample parties those communicated with express or implied contracts. This has resulted in theorising the accounting procedures. For testing the third hypothesis, the researcher has considered explaining scientific ontology along with epistemology that signifies that the positive accounting research is not identical with accounting research. In contrast,Chatfield and Vangermeersch (2014) stated that events do not take place as the output of intervention or randomly from the outer universe. For evaluating the third hypothesis, the researcher has explained misrepresentation and hypothesis testing for validity determination. For this reason, as per the provided theory careful observation is needed by means of which preliminary ideas can be generated. As per the formal theory can be generated with testable anticipations, that is aligned with the remaining dependent and important empirical evidence. The anticipations of the new theory can be tested in accordance to the fresh observations in certain situations within which the fresh and the old theories make severalanticipations.

In order to test the final hypothesis, several models must be tested with particular focus on dimension. Considering the same,Colasse and Durand (2014, p. 41) indicated that the mental models might be employed to develop the casual procedures taking place in the universe. For this reason, the researcher has prepared the above hypothesis that inadequately flowed in the literature review section.


Theoretical Framework

The below mentioned theoretical structures have been employed within this article in order to address the objectives of the research.

Examples of positive research within accounting: The operation of the self-interest balance among the parties serves as the outcome by means of expressed or implied contracts in several types of organizations. This signifies the accounting selections impact on organization’s managers, price and exposure decisions taken by the auditors, the regulators decisions with reference to standard setting and the academics professional devices. It is deemed important that in order to determine the information types that the investor employs for investment decisions (Henderson et al. 2015). This indicates that human being’s nature is rational. Moreover, after the investigating of numerous accounting researchers, the accounting settings is analyzed devoid of coherent behavior such as the method by which audit professionals make several judgments and the manner in which managers employ discretion within performance evaluation systems (Crawfordand Lepine2013, pp. 32-48). Considering the same, the instances intend to identify that the positive research is higher than positive accounting theory.

Scientific ontology and epistemology: According to Dyckman and Zeff (2015, pp. 511-524) epistemology, serves as scientific field that intends to explain several approaches assessable to obtain an understanding of the world. On the other hand, ontology intends to discover the activities and their link with answering the question. The human agency along with socially prepared roles, associations and practices, which signifies that social universe, acts as an objective sustenance devoid of the activities that does not need presenting ample rational reasons. Moreover, the universe might not be observed other than the human beings experiences and the participants’ explanations. For this reason, because of the epistemological and ontological difficulties, the objective is to attain a great knowledge of the causes of the accounting technique serves as futile exercise.

Requirements of an efficient positive research program: From the selected article, it was gathered that a continuous testing of complex models those require careful analysis of variable measurements. Moreover, analytical modeling is deemed important for formulating and testing theoretical models. In order to employ the analytical modeling in the positive accounting techniques, previous occupation is necessary for transforming from traceability to plausibility (Peirson et al. 2015).The researcher has made sure that increased focus on measurement is needed, devoid of just testing. It is observed that a bias is associated with the accounting hat has a strong publication against dimension other than considering that the same is related with theory.


Relevance and Drawbacks of the Article

After the analysis of the mentioned article, it has been gathered that the study has signified a wide gap between the recent practices on the positive accounting and should consider making important contributions to the wider intellectual program (Guthrie and Parker 2016, pp. 2-10). In certain circumstances, there is lack of system optimization that is vital to be modified for correcting a particular mistake. Moreover, the article offers a rational approach of the scientific research that is validated through participating within accounting groups. With the support of the current research, it has been gathered that there is a requirement for effective theoretical models those are extremely dependable in nature. Moreover, such article has explained that positive accounting research is an implication of the quantitative models those are decreased to the statements of the anticipated trends between both the variables (Deegan2016).

In contrast to that, a vital drawback that is revealed from the article is that such research might not result in human behavior awareness within the accounting context. This is for the reason that it is devoid of gathering of real life information collected from several sources. This particular drawback is being acknowledged in this article (Gaffikin and Aitken 2014). Conversely, the absence of the gathering of primary and secondary data has affected the research quality. In addition, the researcher conducted ample inferences based on several authors’ statements explaining positive research accounting. Finally, the quantitative elements are not offered superior importance that is vital in the recent years for anticipating the upcoming growth pg the company in the extended term.



The recent assignment intended to analyze the epistemology and ontology of the affirmative accounting research in order to ascertain its loopholes along with the techniques by means of which these loopholes can be addressed. It was gathered that the quantitative segments of accounting must be prioritized in order to determine the upcoming organizational performance. For this reason, it might be inferred that very less modifications within the program of positive accounting is needed to decrease the errors from companies in consideration to accounting.


Reference List

Ballwieser, W., Bamberg, G., Beckmann, M. J., Bester, H., Blickle, M., Ewert, R. and Gaynor, M., 2012. Agency theory, information, and incentives. Springer Science & Business Media.

Bromwich, M. 2016. The contributions of AC Littleton to accounting thought and practice. Memorial Articles for 20th Century American Accounting Leaders, 49, p. 219.

Bromwich, M. and Scapens, R. W., 2016. Management Accounting Research: 25 years on. Management Accounting Research, 31, pp. 1-9.

Chatfield, M. and Vangermeersch, R., 2014. The History of Accounting (RLE Accounting): An International Encylopedia. Routledge.

Colasse, B. and Durand, R., 2014. 3 French accounting theorists of the twentieth century. Twentieth Century Accounting Thinkers (RLE Accounting), p. 41.

Crawford, E. R. and Lepine, J. A., 2013. A configural theory of team processes: Accounting for the structure of taskwork and teamwork. Academy of Management Review, 38(1), pp. 32-48.

Deegan, C., 2016. Twenty five years of social and environmental accounting research within Critical Perspectives of Accounting: Hits, misses and ways forward. Critical Perspectives on Accounting.

Dorminey, J. W., Hassell, J. M. and Rebele, J. E., 2016. Accounting education literature review (2015). Journal of Accounting Education, 35, pp. 20-55.

Dyckman, T. R. and Zeff, S. A., 2015. Accounting Research: Past, Present, and Future. Abacus, 51(4), pp. 511-524.

Gaffikin, M. and Aitken, M., 2014. The Development of Accounting Theory (RLE Accounting): Significant Contributors to Accounting Thought in the 20th Century. Routledge.

Guthrie, J. and Parker, L. D., 2016. Whither the accounting profession, accountants and accounting researchers? Commentary and projections. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 29(1), pp. 2-10.

Peirson, G., Herbohn, K. and Howieson, B., 2015. Issues in financial accounting. Pearson Higher Education AU.


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