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Lessons from misclassification in international accounting

Christopher Nobes

The British Accounting Review, 2018, vol. 50, issue 3, 239-254

Abstract: Classification is a central activity in many sciences, such as chemistry. In social sciences, we cannot achieve the high precision and usefulness of the Mendeleev table of elements, but we can try to avoid poor classification. This paper sets out a method for identifying mis-classification in any field, drawing on the qualitative characteristics for useful information set out in the conceptual framework for financial reporting, particularly faithful representation and relevance. The method is applied first to various scientific fields and then to many classifications in international accounting and to other classifications used by accounting researchers. The causes of poor classification are examined; for example, some classifications are untrue, some are unfair and some are unlikely to be relevant for any important purpose. The implications for researchers are proposed.

Keywords: Classification; International accounting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/

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Handle: RePEc:eee:bracre:v:50:y:2018:i:3:p:239-254