If accounting is a means of communicating information for decision-making, then any attempt to define accounting must draw upon scholarly knowledge of communication and decision-making. This means understanding accounting as a professional jargon, a language, and also as a social and psychological
object that influences individual and collective behavior. Only when all of these aspects are accounted for can we hope to achieve a truly descriptive, rather than normative, accounting theory that will stand up to the rigors of academic inquiry.
Here Gaétan Breton provides a comprehensive overview of what accounting really is, not just what it is presumed to be for the purposes of ordinary, day-to-day, practicality-oriented accounting courses. Drawing upon frameworks employed in the human sciences—including those used in
sociology, psychology, the communication sciences, and decision theories—Breton builds a multi-faceted theory of accounting. He explains why it should be conceived as a fundamentally social activity, one that puts preparers of financial statements in contact with users—with the state,
shareholders, stakeholders, and citizens—in order to help them make economic decisions based on financial information. It is from this position that he analyzes both the behavior of preparers of financial statements (who only relate financial situations) and the behavior of users (in their
own analysis, understanding, and decisions). The result is a groundbreaking move towards the first science of accounting widely acceptable within academic circles.
For the fundamental questions it poses to the very heart of accounting studies, this book is a must-read for researchers and practitioners as well as teachers and undergraduate students of accounting.
Harold Cecil Edey (1913–2007) and his colleagues David Solomons (1912–1995) and William T. Baxter (1907–2006) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) were instrumental in the development of British accounting thought in the mid-1900s. These three influential
scholars influenced a generation of students who came to populate the British accounting profession and academia to the point where, in the early 1970s, half of all full-time accounting professors in the United Kingdom were LSE alumni. Edey’s role in these developments, however, remains
This edited volume contains 13 of Edey’s unpublished manuscripts written during the heyday of the LSE Triumvirate. These manuscripts address issues of accounting education, measurements, and theory, and they are accompanied by editorial comments that put the material in its historical
context. The volume also contains an aide-mémoire of Edey’s professional activities and a complete bibliography of his published work. The material offers new insight into Edey’s contribution to the British accounting profession, and developments at the LSE, during a critical
period of academic expansion and struggle to address the problem of accounting for rising inflation. The material is of value to anyone interested in the development of accounting thought.