The Quirky Character Camouflaged in the Conceptual Framework : A study of the financial statement user

Abstract: Much of accounting research implies that someone uses financial statements in making investment decisions, and assumes that the ones using the statements are financial analysts, investment bankers, fund managers, or the rational economic decision maker. However, these assumptions do not consider all potential investors, particularly those who have traditionally lacked access to information and technical savvy. However, there is a financial statement user lacking information access, who makes a brief, nearly camouflaged appearance in the financial reporting conceptual framework.This dissertation explores the possibility of this other financial statement user, who is different from the usual taken for granted analyst or a rational economic decision maker. Conducting an historical study into the origins of regulated financial reporting in tandem with the development of the accounting profession, this dissertation locates the sites where financial reporting transforms and allows for different conceptualizations of the user.  This study of the financial statement user is a genealogy that utilizes a coproductionist approach, which considers the influence of the decision useful objective of financial reporting in tandem with the role of the accounting profession in the development of both regulated financial statements and the financial statement user. In the process of investigating this other financial statement user, this dissertation reveals how important the user is to accounting. Thus, this dissertation contributes not only to studies concerning the user and user primacy, but also to studies concerning the accounting profession, the financial reporting conceptual framework, and accounting principles. This other user, or the quirky character camouflaged in the conceptual framework, has greatly impacted the accounting profession, accounting concepts, the capital market, and a controversial accounting principle still in use today.

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