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Article

Susan Bassnett, Ann-Christine Frandsen and Keith Hoskin

The purpose of this paper is to investigate accounting as first visible-sign statement form, and also as the first writing, and analyse its systematic differences…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate accounting as first visible-sign statement form, and also as the first writing, and analyse its systematic differences, syntactic and semantic, from subsequent speech-following (glottographic) writing forms. The authors consider how accounting as non-glottographic (and so “unspeakable”) writing form renders “glottography” a “subsystem of writing” (Hyman, 2006), while initiating a mode of veridiction which always and only names and counts, silently and synoptically. The authors also consider the translation of this statement form into the graphs, charts, equations, etc., which are central to the making of modern scientific truth claims, and to remaking the boundaries of “languaging” and translatability.

Design/methodology/approach

As a historical–theoretical study, this draws on work reconceptualising writing vs speech (e.g. Harris, 1986; 2000), the statement vs the word (e.g. Foucault, 1972/2002) and the parameters of translation (e.g. Littau, 2016) to re-think the conceptual significance of accounting as constitutive of our “literate modes” of thinking, acting and “languaging in general”.

Findings

Specific reflections are offered on how the accounting statement, as mathematically regularised naming of what “ought” to be counted, is then evaluated against what is counted, thus generating a first discourse of the norm and a first accounting-based apparatus for governing the state. The authors analyse how the non-glottographic statement is constructed and read not as linear flow of signs but as simulacrum; and on how the accounting statement poses both the practical issue of how to translate non-linear flow statements, and the conceptual problem of how to think this statement form’s general translatability, given its irreducibility to the linear narrative statement form.

Originality/value

The paper pioneers in approaching accounting as statement form in a way that analyses the differences that flow from its non-glottographic status.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article

Robert Charnock and Keith Hoskin

This paper brings insights from accounting scholarship to the measurement and reporting challenges of metagovernance approaches to sustainable development. Where…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper brings insights from accounting scholarship to the measurement and reporting challenges of metagovernance approaches to sustainable development. Where scholarship on metagovernance—the combination of market, hierarchical and network governance—proposes deductive approaches to such challenges, we contend that a historically informed “abductive” approach offers valuable insight into the realpolitik of intergovernmental frameworks.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a Foucauldian “archaeological–genealogical” method to investigate the inclusion of climate change as a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). It analyses more than 100 documents and texts, tracking the statement forms that crystallise prevailing truth claims across the development of climate and SDG metagovernance.

Findings

We show how the truth claims now enshrined in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change constrained the conceptualisation and operationalisation of SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. The paper thereby reframes recent measurement and reporting challenges as outcomes of conceptual conflicts between the technicist emphasis of divisions within the United Nations and the truth claims enshrined in intergovernmental agreements.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates how an archaeological–genealogical approach may start to address the measurement and reporting challenges facing climate and SDG metagovernance. It also highlights that the two degrees target on climate change has a manifest variability of interpretation and shows how this characteristic has become pivotal to operationalising climate metagovernance in a manner that respects the sovereignty of developing nations.

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Article

Mats Larsson, Mohammed Arif and Hani M. Aburas

This paper highlights one of the limitations of the continuous improvement (CI) philosophy and contends that CI cannot go on forever. It further suggests that in order to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper highlights one of the limitations of the continuous improvement (CI) philosophy and contends that CI cannot go on forever. It further suggests that in order to further improve organizations need to increase the system boundary, and proposes ways of doing so.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to highlight the limits of CI this paper describes a case study. Using a literature review, it further proposes nine ways of increasing system boundary.

Findings

The first finding is that CI is not limitless and there is a logical point where CI cannot be economically justified. At that point, the possibility of increasing the system boundary is required. This paper proposes nine possible ways of expanding this boundary.

Practical implications

The paper presents ways of bringing about radical improvements by increasing the system scope. These ways can be explored by practitioners to bring about major improvements, once incremental improvements have been exhausted.

Originality/value

This paper presents ways for companies to explore radical improvement possibilities, once the incremental improvements have reached a level where they can no longer be financially justified.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 31 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Book part

Sidney J. Baxendale and Archie W. Faircloth

Over ten thousand years ago the needs of society to be able to account for economic transactions led to the development of accounting tokens made of clay. In a world in…

Abstract

Over ten thousand years ago the needs of society to be able to account for economic transactions led to the development of accounting tokens made of clay. In a world in which writing and numbering had not emerged, the attributes of the economic transactions had to be represented by shape and size, as well as incised markings. Changes in the accounting system coincided with changes in the social structure and economic advancement.

These tokens were the genesis of writing and numbering. The use of pictographs led to a large variety of signs; finally, when the signs assumed a sound value in addition to the commodity, writing and speech were united. The tokens also provided the necessary seriation and one-one correspondence necessary to develop counting as well as higher cognitive structures.

This article compares the archeological evidence regarding the development of the tokens to the theories and experiments of Piaget, concerning the development of numbering and cognitive structures.

Details

Re-Inventing Realities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-307-5

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Article

Salvador Carmona and Mahmoud Ezzamel

The purpose of this paper is to analyze and critique the growing literature on record‐keeping practices in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt with a particular focus on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze and critique the growing literature on record‐keeping practices in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt with a particular focus on processes of ancient accountability, and provide a research agenda for future work.

Design/methodology/approach

Analyzes the contributions of accounting historians in this area as well as the research conducted by Assyriologists and Egyptologists. Our analysis emphasizes the embeddeness of ancient processes of accounting and accountability in their wider contexts.

Findings

A framework is proposed comprising levels and spheres of accountability. The levels of accountability consist of: hierarchical; horizontal; and self, all entailing both accounting and non‐accounting elements. Furthermore, accountability is analyzed at three spheres: the individual‐state, the state‐individual, and the individual‐individual.

Originality/value

Further research in this area might examine issues such as the temporal dimension of accountability and whether more precise time measures than those reported in the extant literature were enforced in ancient economies; how the ancients dealt with differences between actual and expected measures; examination on the extent to which accountability exerted an impact on, and the role of accounting in, ordering the lives of individuals and communities; and examination of the trajectories of accounting and accountability across different historical episodes.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Abstract

Details

Harold Cecil Edey: A Collection of Unpublished Material from a 20th Century Accounting Reformer
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-670-0

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Abstract

Details

Understanding Mattessich and Ijiri: A Study of Accounting Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-841-3

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Book part

Öznur Arslan

Together with the globalization, the markets throughout the world entered into an intense competition and it led the companies in capital markets into a panic. During the…

Abstract

Together with the globalization, the markets throughout the world entered into an intense competition and it led the companies in capital markets into a panic. During the competition for being at the top, the companies may sometimes have recourse to various frauds, corruption, or manipulations. The advancing technology is the most useful instrument of companies for this purpose. Countering these frauds and corruptions, which are gradually becoming more complex, is the profession of “auditing” which entered into an institutionalization and professionalization process. One of the most important milestones in this process is the emergence of the forensic accounting profession. The forensic accounting services, especially in the USA and Canada, provide courts and lawyers with support by making use of accounting, auditing, and analytical investigations on legal issues involving financial disputes. The forensic accountants offer service to relevant persons and institutions in order to determine the frauds made by the companies and support the lawsuits.

The objective of the present study is to provide information about the forensic accounting profession and its development in the world, as well as contributing to the development and recognition of forensic accounting practices.

Details

Contemporary Issues in Audit Management and Forensic Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-636-0

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Abstract

Details

Count Down
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-700-3

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