A Possibilitarian History of Price Change Accounting in the UK: 1971-1985

Author: Rutherford, Brian A.

Source: Accounting, Business & Financial History, Volume 17, Number 2, July 2007 , pp. 285-312(28)

Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group

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This paper offers a 'possibilitarian' analysis of the history of price change accounting in the UK, exploring how events might have turned out differently at a number of key nodal points. It argues that a stable current cost accounting regime could have been established significantly before SSAP16 was in fact adopted or, alternately, that the retreat from SSAP16 could have been managed in a way that would have maintained compliance with current cost accounting. Had a substantial period of widespread compliance within a stable regime eventuated, a quite different dynamic might have emerged, including significant user pressure to maintain current cost accounting, thereby underpinning the regime and leading to its long-term survival.

Keywords: Accounting Standards Committee; alternative history; counterfactuals; current cost accounting

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09585200701376642

Affiliations: Kent Business School, University of Kent, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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