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Wand and Weber's fundamental premise is that ‘a physical‐symbol system has the necessary and sufficient properties to represent real‐world meaning’. Their representation of real‐world meaning flows from three possible information system models: representational, state‐tracking and de‐compositional. We address these three types of information system in the context of financial reporting systems and we use purchased goodwill and other intangible assets to selectively critique their characteristics. The principle feature of this critique is the comparison that is made throughout the paper between an economic and an artefactual (physical‐symbol) representation of assets, particularly the intangible ones, in the financial reporting domain.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-12-01

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