Accounting theories and pattern has been develops and evolves over the old ages as a consequence from the altering in concern interaction carried by dynamic human civilisation. As an early history of accounting subject which being said was born from the pattern, accounting is seems significantly influenced by the people who created and patterns the accounting. However, many comptrollers and accounting bookmans believe that accounting is a proficient value free topic as accounting has been used as tools to pass on the economic minutess into utile information in assisting people in organisation to do a determination. Therefore, accounting is treated as separate proficient topic from the people who involves in practising it and so, theories are being developed by detecting these interactions to construe the accounting and the people ‘s behavior towards accounting. This underlying premise has being carried by the rationalist position in specifying what is accounting all about. Hence, the rationalist position approximately accounting as value free cognition has been reflected in their accounting theories where they believe in understanding about accounting can be achieved through scientific methodological analysis ( Watt & A ; Zimmerman, 1990 ) . On the other manus, Sterling ( 1979 ) specifically argued that accounting is a scientific discipline similar like a physical scientific discipline as it employs the relevancy and empirical testability research standards and therefore can be classified in natural scientific discipline subject.
From the long old ages ago, the major research in accounting has been dominant by the rationalist bookmans who believe in accounting as a scientific cognition. Watt and Zimmerman ( 1990 ) contribute significantly on the development of positive accounting theory and subsequently many surveies are mentioning to the positive accounting theory in carry oning research in construing the accounting patterns. However, there are others school of ideas that gestating the accounting in different attacks which contradict to the rationalist paradigm. The development of alternate accounting theories as mentioned in Gaffikin ( 2006 ) as review towards positive accounting theories has promote different position of accounting where accounting is non a scientific topic like a physical scientific discipline, instead it sort into a societal scientific discipline cognition because accounting is concerned with the human behaviour and societal interaction.
IS ACCOUNTING IS A Physical SCIENCE OR A SOCIAL SCIENCE?
Therefore, from my point of position, the reply for the inquiry whether accounting is a physical scientific discipline or a societal scientific discipline is I believe that accounting is a societal scientific discipline instead than natural scientific discipline and accounting can non be regarded as a proficient value free cognition like a physical scientific discipline. This is due to the fact that, accounting were created by human being and pattern by the comptrollers that involve with subjective affairs in doing judgements and readings. Though Sterling ( 1979 ) argued that accounting maintain the objectiveness standards and therefore holds the scientific nature, but accounting can be influenced by many other subjective factors include societal belief system, cultural, single head and judgement. Therefore, accounting is non entirely a proficient tools used by the comptrollers to mensurate the economic dealing without influenced by the human interaction. By contrast, the belief approximately accounting as scientific cognition holds by the rationalist position has ignored the fact that environmental factors has given influenced to the accounting pattern.
Accounting is a subject that closely related to the comptrollers as human being who patterns the accounting. Though there are accountings criterions that provide the regulations and guidelines for the comptrollers in executing their undertakings, these accounting criterions besides subjected to the reading and used by the comptrollers depend on their capacity in doing the judgements and readings on such regulations. Therefore, accounting can non be measured independently from those who practising it unlike physical scientific discipline where doctors view the cognition on purgative as natural value free cognition which stand independently from human creative activity. The positive position employs the similar standards in natural scientific disciplines where accounting and comptrollers ‘ behaviours can be measured and predicted through empirical observation through utilizing the accounting Numberss and the market information. However, comptrollers ‘ behaviours associates with the natural character of human being which are alone and non cosmopolitan, therefore their behaviours and inclination in doing judgement are really subjective. The the restriction of the rationalist position to capture the singularity of comptrollers as human being and the subjectiveness affairs in comptrollers ‘ judgements reveals that accounting is non a scientific discipline like physical scientific discipline. The alternate positions of accounting idea which giving more consideration on subjectiveness of human being is more appropriate in gestating the accounting. This base carried by interpretative attack where accounting is classified under societal scientific discipline subject ( Chua, 1986 ) . Therefore, I agreed with the point that accounting is non a natural scientific discipline and can non be treated like a physical scientific discipline as accounting rely to a great extent on the human judgement and can non be treated as a “ thing ” that can be measured and observed individually from people who practiced accounting.
In add-on, accounting is non merely influenced by the comptrollers as person who practising the accounting, but many surveies has proved that accounting besides being influenced by the environmental factors as a consequence from societal interaction within the society. There are turning a figure of accounting research that relates the civilization influences towards the accounting development. For illustration, Gray ( 1988 ) has initiated the development of theory of cultural influence on the development of accounting system. Finding from his surveies has contributed greatly in understanding how the cultural factors may act upon the accounting system development followed by many other researches that proved the cultural influence in accounting such as Baydoun & A ; Willet ( 1995 ) , Fechne & A ; Kilgore ( 1994 ) and Tsakumis ( 2007 ) . Therefore, accounting besides develops and evolves as a consequence from cultural influence and therefore proved to be dynamic in nature. On the other manus, natural scientific discipline like natural philosophies is inactive in nature where natural scientific discipline treated the natural philosophies knowledge as inactive object without being influenced by societal factors. This fact shows that accounting fit better as a societal scientific discipline instead than physical scientific discipline. This statement besides supported by Lowe and Thinker ( 1989 ) as cited by Gaffikin ( 2006 ) where they denote that “ accounting should be regarded as built-in parts of societal scientific discipline ” . Therefore, my point of position agreed with the positions which belief in accounting as a societal scientific discipline subject which subjected to the influenced given by the environmental and cultural factors.
Other than that, accounting can non be regarded as scientific discipline like a physical scientific discipline due to the ground that accounting is non a functioned to supply absolute information as presented by the accounting Numberss in fiscal statement. Accounting Numberss in the fiscal statement is non an absolute figure because accounting procedure involves subjective affair in construing the economic dealing. Thus, though accounting maintains the objectiveness steps in recording and describing the economic dealing, it does non supply an accurate Numberss where all comptrollers can hold with the same reading. Therefore, accounting is non like a natural scientific discipline like natural philosophies where the Numberss and steps are can be validated by other research workers as “ accurate ” ( Stamp, 1981 ) . For illustration, comptrollers and the user of the fiscal statement are normally concern on the construct “ true and just ” position in the fiscal coverage. However, the construct of true and just positions merely giving certain degree of confidence in which fiscal information are reported as “ true and just ” position. Accountants can non fix a fiscal study based on absolute true of economic world because accounting procedure involves many premises, appraisals and consist of built-in hazards. Therefore, accounting Numberss can non be regarded as absolute truth. It shows that accounting is non like a natural scientific discipline where the scientist ever looking for the absolute truth in their research. Accounting non merely a affair of proficient topic but accounting is a consequence from the procedure of human interaction which closely related to the human judgement and reading. Therefore, accounting can be regarded as a societal scientific discipline subject as quoted from Burchell et Al. ( 1985: 381 ) which stated that accounting is “ coming to be seen as a societal instead than a strictly proficient phenomenon ” .
In decision, I believe that accounting is a societal scientific discipline subject as proved by statements on its subjectiveness attack in accounting procedure given by the alone comptrollers as human being in doing judgements and readings. Other than that, accounting besides integrated closely with the cultural values in society and therefore denotes it as societal scientific discipline subject instead than treated as proficient value free cognition like in scientific subject.
IS THE BELIEF ABOUT ACCOUNTING REALLY MATTER TO ACCOUNTANTS AND ACCOUNTING SCHOLARS? HOW AND WHY?
Many different research attacks have been employed by the old research workers in understanding the accounting. Previously, the mainstream accounting thought given by the positive accounting theory has being the most influential towards the development of accounting theories for the last four decennaries ago ( Khabir, 2010 ) . As review on the rationalist position on accounting as denotes by Deegan ( 2007: 99 ) where positive accounting theories are “ does non supply prescription and hence does non supply a agency of bettering accounting pattern ” , the belief approximately accounting as societal scientific discipline is likely giving more significance in construing accounting and therefore can better the accounting patterns through understanding accounting as societal phenomenon non as a mere proficient topic. As effects, through the evolving of the accounting theories and review towards the restriction on the rationalist position, the interpretative and sociology school of ideas provide different angles in sing the accounting subject as societal scientific disciplines. Therefore, interpretative and sociology research attack employs the methodological analysiss to happen the grounds behind the accounting patterns and therefore lays a infinite to find the goaded factor in bettering the comptrollers ‘ patterns.
As accounting theories develop and evolve in many different signifiers, the belief about accounting become critical to the comptrollers and accounting bookmans. The belief approximately accounting as proficient value free cognition among comptrollers and accounting bookmans has brought to the employment of natural scientific disciplines methodological analysiss in analyzing the accounting. The belief in accounting by the rationalist has resulted in treated the accounting as a proficient object that of course respond without societal influenced. As a consequence, positive positions tend to look at the causal relationship between the accounting pattern and comptrollers ‘ behaviour without taking into consideration on the grounds behind their actions. For illustration, under cost catching theory in positive accounting theory, the comptrollers and direction are predicted to respond on the certain behaviour inclination towards accounting picks given by the market reaction. This theory provides the anticipation and reading on the accounting pattern based on the “ physical ” reaction of comptrollers and direction in doing determination instead than concern on the implicit in grounds which may explicate their actions. Therefore, through the intervention of accounting as a proficient value free topic, it neglected the other influencing factors include the civilization position, moral belief, personal minded and judgement which may explicate why the comptrollers react towards certain action. On the other manus, societal scientific discipline positions approximately accounting as societal phenomenon and seek to happen the truth behind the accounting patterns by giving concluding to the comptrollers ‘ actions and therefore the findings can take the them and practitioner to understand the accounting patterns.
Furthermore, the belief about accounting is of import to the comptrollers and accounting bookmans as it will concern on the position how accounting patterns can be developed and improved over the times. If they view the accounting as proficient tools without sing the homo influenced toward its patterns and development, it will lend to the failure in happening the best solution that can better overall accounting pattern. For illustration, in the urged of the standardisation of planetary accounting criterions around the universe, most of the comptrollers and accounting bookmans belief that accounting patterns can be standardized utilizing the same criterions across states which they belief can better the comparison of the fiscal statements ( Deloitte, 2008 ) . However, they failed to recognize that accounting is non a proficient value free cognition which can non be treated otherwise from those who practising it. Therefore, the called for standardisation of accounting criterions seems impossible to accomplish given by the cultural differences factor that giving effect on the accounting which being patterns otherwise as resulted from the cultural spread.
As accounting patterns develops and evolves over the old ages, accounting theory traveling frontward consequently in order to better the patterns. The belief approximately accounting as a societal scientific discipline subject which was created and influenced by the human being may lend in understanding the restriction and failings given by the imperfectnesss of human being creative activity. Therefore, it lays a infinite for farther research in different angles in order to happen the solutions for the current practical issues. If the comptrollers and accounting bookmans stuck in the belief of accounting as natural scientific discipline, they will non able to see the defect of the current patterns as the consequence from subjectiveness affairs in comptrollers ‘ judgement and different thought procedure carried by the comptrollers. Let see on the just value accounting which has been introduced to replace the historical cost rules in mensurating the fiscal instruments. The criterions compositor, Financial Accounting Standard Board ( FASB ) introduced the just value measuring in the International Financial Reporting Standard ( IFRS ) to guarantee the relevance of the fiscal information disclosed which claimed can offered more utile information to the users of the fiscal statements ( Kim & A ; Khurana, 2003 ) . However, a studied done by Kim and Khurana ( 2003 ) to happen the grounds on the comparative value on the utility of just value coverage compared to the historical cost showed insignificants result between these two coverage measurings. Therefore, it shows that, the ‘usefulness ‘ of the information derived from the accounting intervention can non being measured and proved through empirical observation as the accounting intervention and determination devising related to the human judgement which involve with subjectiveness affairs. Therefore, the belief about accounting does truly affairs to the comptrollers and accounting bookmans in order to assist them in turn toing the accounting issues with more sagely attack by incorporating the societal phenomenon instead than handling it as proficient value free cognition.
The belief about accounting is besides important for the accounting bookmans in order for them to take the appropriate methodological analysiss in survey the accounting cognition. As the accounting is treated as type of societal scientific discipline survey, accounting bookmans will aware about the possible societal reaction and cultural interaction in analyzing the accounting patterns. They will besides take into consideration towards the significance behind the each actions perform by the comptrollers and the direction in organisation as suggested by Chua ( 1986 ) . Therefore, the belief approximately accounting as societal scientific discipline cognition will take the research workers to turn to the debatable issues in respect to the human natures environing the accounting. On the other manus, natural scientific disciplines attack will detect the accounting as independent topic from the comptrollers ‘ behaviours while in fact human behaviours besides influenced the accounting and related to other subjective factors. Therefore, natural scientific discipline attack really tries to mensurate something that unquantifiable like human behaviours because human being can respond otherwise in different state of affairs due to the many subjective grounds such as personal belief and cultural position. The restriction of natural scientific discipline in belief approximately accounting as proficient value free will qualify the accounting as lone about proficient tool used by the human being to pass on concern minutess. Therefore, natural scientific discipline attack unable to capture the images of accounting as a consequence from political intercession dramas by the homo in the organisation. As suggested by Hines ( 1989 ) , positive positions in accounting research will non see the accounting itself as resulted from sociopolitical effort. Consequently, by looking from sociopolitical paradigm, accounting can non be measured individually as proficient topic and therefore, they suggest different research method to analyze the accounting. Alternatively of accounting be measured through empirical observation by the natural scientific discipline method, accounting is more appropriate to be measured based on qualitative method ( Chua, 1986 ) .
As the decision, accounting is a societal scientific discipline subject as it denotes a dynamic map in social system and evolves consequently throughout the times. As argued in old paragraphs, I believe that accounting can be regarded as societal scientific discipline instead than scientific discipline like physical scientific discipline as accounting involve with subjective affairs, comptrollers ‘ judgement and premise every bit good influenced straight by the other environmental factors like cultural influences. Though positive position treated the accounting as proficient value free cognition and can be quantifiable through empirical testing, the dynamic society and subjectiveness in human nature proved being straight giving impact towards the accounting. Therefore, it challenged the generalizable empirical consequence from rationalist findings because comptrollers are alone and non cosmopolitan.
On the other manus, the belief about accounting does matter to the comptrollers and accounting bookmans as it will take them to see the images of accounting, whether to see accounting as proficient value free topic like in scientific attack or societal scientific discipline attack. Therefore, if the accounting seeing as proficient value free cognition, comptrollers and accounting bookmans unable to see how the societal and human interaction giving impact to the accounting. In contrast, societal scientific discipline attack sees the accounting as portion of societal phenomenon and therefore attempts to supply concluding behind the accounting patterns and can better it. Therefore, more researches need to be done to better accounting pattern because accounting was created by the human being with full of imperfectnesss.