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Accounting Horizons



Mark C. Penno




Rules are fundamental to financial reporting, tax regulation, and auditing
processes, and therefore the limitations of rule-based structures are of primary interest
to accountants. All rule systems are plagued by the problem of vagueness, which implies
that some very important decisions cannot be objectively described as “right” or
“wrong,” and must be based on an authority’s judgment. This problem becomes most
acute when accounting faces rapid technological changes, financial engineering, creative
tax planning, or changes in the way that business is done. If the environment were
static, explicit rules could eventually be developed for each category and consulted
when making classifications. In contrast, dynamic environments present new problems
characterized by vagueness. In this paper, I will review several definitions of vagueness,
and show how they are tied to a conceptual framework. In particular, I will discuss
the potential roles of verifiability, relevance, and consistency under any feasible _vague_
conceptual accounting framework.


Vol 22, Nomor 03, Tahun 2008


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