What is Accuracy?: Problematizing a Basic Accounting Construct

Thumbnail Image
Moore, Louella
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
December 2014
Alternative Title
Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) requires financial officers to sign a statement certifying that financial reports are accurate. Similarly, American defense contractors must affirm that cost accounting disclosures are current, accurate, and complete (DCCA 8-206b 2013). Yet neither set of regulations is explicit as to what it means to be accurate. While accuracy seems to be a basic objective of accounting practice, the construct has received surprisingly little academic attention. Why is that? . . . This essay looks for interdisciplinary connections that can deepen the accounting field's practical understanding of the ontological and epistemological status of the accuracy construct in a societal context. This paper problematizes the accuracy construct in order to understand its role and limits within accounting practice and pedagogy.