Term Paper: Politicization of Standard Setting

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Politicization of Standard Setting

History of formation of CAP, the APB, and the FASB and rationale for formation

The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 set general accounting standards for all American accountants in practice. Then, the AICPA formed the Committee of Accounting Procedure (CAP) in 1938 so the profession could regulate itself. In 1959, CAP decided accountants needed a general theory of ethical practice, and a constitution to outline the purpose of the profession. This was a shift from a situational approach to ethics when practicing that had previously dominated the profession. The Accounting Principles Board was the result (Flegm, 2005).

In 1972 the FASB created the Discussion Memorandum on the Conceptual Framework for Accounting. "Although the income statement and the matching concept had been the primary focus of financial reporting [until then] FASB changed that focus to the balance sheet....because measuring capital maintenance is difficult, if not impossible, the pragmatic accountant focuses on profit maximization" (Flegm, 2005). Pragmatic demands, politicization and simply the need for a more a realistic view of how organizations view their own balance sheet all conspired to produce this change. The new board's policies "changed the basic emphasis of financial reporting from a report to absentee owners attesting to managements' (agents) successful stewardship and accountability, to a report to potential investors reflecting the company's potential (assuming that this could be expressed in dollars)" (Flegm, 2005).

What arguments can be raised to support the "politicization"… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Politicization of Standard Setting.  (2007, September 9).  Retrieved July 17, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/politicization-standard-setting/21608

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"Politicization of Standard Setting."  Essaytown.com.  September 9, 2007.  Accessed July 17, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/politicization-standard-setting/21608.