The Functions of Accounting Revisited - New Meanings and Directions
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Original versionGårseth-Nesbakk, L. & Timoshenko, K. (2014). The functions of accounting revisited - new meanings and directions. In A. Bourmistrov & O. Olson (Eds.), Accounting, management control and institutional development (pp. 141-156). Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk.
This chapter reviews various meanings ascribed to accounting and the ways in which it functions. The targeted time period for the review commences from the publication of Mellemvik’s et al. article in 1988. The chapter contains a conceptual discussion on accounting and its functions and urgently calls academia for more research in this area. The main findings suggest that, while many functions identified by Mellemvik et al. (1988) still persist today, more complex images have come into existence recently, such as a stabilizing mechanism, translation of interests into «facts», a mediation process, a displacement mechanism, cultural carrier, and as a way of constraining organizational functioning. The chapter proposes some fruitful areas for further research.