Little is known of how accounting is used in the home, or about the potential relevance of business‐like techniques in this domain. This paper reports findings from an exploratory study into the practices of home accountants. Ten cases based on interviews with both accountants and lay people were used to investigate four broad areas of accounting practice: budgeting, record‐keeping, decision making and long‐term financial planning. The findings suggest that simple accounting practices are used in the home to serve multiple purposes. Domestic cash budgets, financial records and decision‐making rules of thumb offer a valued sense of financial control and security. Home accounts are also drawn on in rationalising financial choices, and accounting practices reinforce a personal sense of identity. This study revealed little difference between the practices of accountants and those of lay people, suggesting that the “mind‐set” and practices of home accountants may be attributed to factors other than command over technique. Any “theories” of home accounting and prescriptions for practice may have limited relevance, therefore, if they fail to account for the particular characteristics of the home as an accounting domain.
Northcott, D. and Doolin, B. (2000), "Home accountants: exploring their practices", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 475-501. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513570010338267Download as .RIS
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