This book provides the reader with a broad overview of research and the conceptual reasoning behind financial reporting. We adopt the perspective that financial accounting theory can be summarized as the quest for answers to two fundamental questions: What characterizes high-quality accounting? and What are the determinants and consequences of high-quality accounting?
The book contains a discussion of how the above questions relate to:
• current accounting standards (such as IFRS and its Conceptual Framework),
• theories in economics, finance and other disciplines,
• evidence from empirical accounting research, and
• the role that accounting plays in bridging the information gap between firms and financial statement users in capital markets.
We cover a range of topics associated with accounting quality definitions, determinants and consequences. These include earnings and disclosure quality, accounting standards, the institutional environment, corporate governance, and managerial incentives. The usefulness of accounting, both for valuation and stewardship purposes, is discussed. The book is designed for graduate students in accounting and finance. It is an excellent introduction to accounting research for Master and PhD students when they write their thesis or dissertation. It is also useful for researchers who want an overview of current research and for practitioners wanting insight into the current state of knowledge about financial reporting.