Title: The utopian accounting debate: changing word meaning for a changing world

Authors: Frederic Compin

Addresses: 7, chemin des Amoureux, Cerny 91590, France; Lycee Robert Doisneau, 95, boulevard Jean Jaures, Corbeil-Essonnes 91813, France

Abstract: This paper deals with the essential question: |is it possible to reform accounting terminology?| It explores how account manipulation can be achieved not only by fudging figures, but also by manipulating the surrounding syntax; in other words, the language itself. Thus, given that words carry both psychological and sociological connotations, the notion of accounting terminology reform carries a utopian dimension. This paper highlights the lack of language concepts in accounting language that recognise both positive and negative externalities arising from the economics and wealth of human resources and proposes a utopian vision to create noun phrases that would incorporate the notion of sustainable development at the very heart of economic exchanges.

Keywords: Kant; legality; morality; positive externalities; negative externalities; human resources; toxic assets; accounting language reform; accounting terminology; sustainable development; utopian accounting; changing word meaning; Utopia; sustainability; economics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEA.2010.033902

International Journal of Economics and Accounting, 2010 Vol.1 No.1/2, pp.76 - 87

Published online: 03 Jul 2010 *

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