Following a spate of high-profile financial scandals (including Enron, WorldCom, and Parmalat), the quality of financial information has come under increasing scrutiny. Many of the accounting standards being imposed on the profession by regulators and standard-setting bodies are now attracting criticism from the business community and the accountancy profession itself.
In this book, Anthony Rayman traces a fundamental flaw in the conventional academic wisdom back to the nineteenth century, and proposes an alternative conceptual framework. He argues that effective corporate governance can be achieved, not by expensive and counterproductive regulations (like the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act and some International Accounting Standards), but by an enhanced accounting information system that exposes corporate management to the full rigour of market forces.
Table of Contents
Foreword. Introduction. Part I: The Noble Art of Counting Beans 1. Stewardship Reporting: The Physical Dimension 2. Business Accounting 3. Performance Reporting: the Value Dimension Part II: The Measurement of Income and Value 4. Economic Income and Accounting Profit 5. The Inflation Accounting 'Debate' 6. Historical Cost or Current Value? Part III: A Theoretical Blind Alley 7. Value Change: A Wrong Turning? 8. Asset Valuation: A Convenient Distraction? 9. Fair Value Accounting: A Dead End? Part IV: Back to Basics 10. What's Wrong with Investment Theory? 11. The 'Threshold of Measurement' 12. The Fatal Conceit of Managerial Capitalism 13. What's Wrong with Accounting Standards? Part V: The Segregation of Funds and Value 14. Financial Performance and the Investment Rate 15. A Segregated System of Funds and Value Accounting 16. Management and the Auditor: A Question of Public Accountability Part VI: Truth in Accounting 17. Elimination of the Expectation Gap 18. Reconstruction of the Conceptual Framework 19. Accounting Truth and Economic Reality. Appendices
Anthony Rayman is a chartered accountant and former university lecturer. His articles have been published in the Journal of Accounting Research (USA), Accounting and Business Research, Accountancy, and the Financial Times. His book Economics Through the Looking-Glass has been described in The Business Economist as "masterful and convincing … compulsory reading for all younger economists".
'This is a thought-provoking book that challenges the current direction of accounting standards and proposes an interesting alternative. Its novel perspective on financial reporting provides a framework for debating some of the key contemporary issues facing the accountancy profession.' - Colin Drury