Decision-making Approaches

Decision-making approaches

The expansion of behavioural research into accounting during the 2000s resulted in an interest in decision making theories of accounting. This mood was well captured in the following statement by the American Accounting Association in 2001:

'To state the matter concisely, the principal purpose of accounting reports is to influence action, that is, behaviour. Additionally, it can be hypothesized that the very process of accumulating information, as well as the behaviour of those who do the accounting, will affect the behaviour of others. In short, by its very nature, accounting is a behavioural process.' (A.A.A., 2001.)

Two types of decision-making theories of accounting have resulted from this approach, namely, empirical theories and normative specific theories.

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Read on: The Normative General Approach

The normative general approach

The 2000s and 2000s began to witness a much greater concern on the part of academic accountants with the problems of accounting theory. In particular, the search for a 'general theory of accounting' based on a coherent set of logical principles, was an attempt to provide accounting with similar foundations as other sciences, such as mathematics, physics and chemistry. Protagonists of the 'general theory school' argued that

'Accountants do not appear to have any complete system of thought about accounting. There are unquestionably several systems... see: The Normative General Approach