Title: Socio-institutional perspective of reality in financial accounting: creative compliance and accounting standard setting in Japan

Authors: Noriaki Okamoto

Addresses: Department of Economics, Ryutsu Keizai University, 120 Ryugasaki, Ibaraki, 301-8555, Japan

Abstract: It often has been emphasised that the reflection of economic reality of company transactions is fundamental to financial accounting. Although this fundamental principle is widely accepted, there is not a general description of how reality can be constructed in financial accounting. This paper attempts to suggest a fresh perspective of reality in accounting, drawing on philosophical perspectives of institutional reality. With the help of philosophical concepts, the paper suggests a socio-institutional perspective that reality in accounting can be constructed by interactions of two types of collectively accepted norms. The formulated framework is then unfolded to a case study of SPE consolidation standards setting in Japan that was in part mobilised by the revelations of abusive creative compliance by the president of an upstart IT company. The paper implies that an institutional reality in financial accounting can be rapidly changed by anti-abusive social belief.

Keywords: institutional reality; creative compliance; social norms; anti-abusive social belief; Japanese accounting standards; standard setting; SPE consolidation; Japan; financial accounting; economic reality.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2011.039605

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2011 Vol.3 No.1, pp.63 - 79

Published online: 21 Oct 2014 *

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