Obtaining entity-specific information and dealing with uncertainty: Financial accountants' response to their changing work of financial reporting and the role of boundary objects
CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, 2022, vol. 85, issue C
Although recent academic debate highlights that production of financial statements is challenging from financial accountants’ perspective, little is known about the social situation in which those statements are produced. To address this gap, a study examined how financial accountants acquire the entity-specific information used in producing financial statements and how they deal with the uncertainty that the situation entails. The study examines cases of implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards, considers the new kinds of entity-specific information the standards require, and argues that the most critical issue in such implementation is that the accountants grow more dependent on the business managers’ knowledge. The paper describes how the case firms’ accountants responded to the necessity of ‘opening up’ the business perspective by adopting models (from a consulting firm) that took on a vital role in organising financial statements’ production and rendered it more manageable. These models need not actually lay bare the business perspective as the business managers understand it; rather, they help the accountants maintain and negotiate task boundaries related to financial reporting. The study argues that the outcome (or possible outcomes) of financial reporting play an important part in controlling this production, and the accountants actively used them as a resolution tool when the business side was unable or unwilling to give a ‘clear view’ of the business operations.
Keywords: Entity-specific information; Accountants' jurisdiction; International Financial Reporting Standards; Boundary objects; Infrastructure; Valuation Technologies; Profit (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:85:y:2022:i:c:s1045235420301258
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