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会计学是一种自然科学

时间:2015-11-01 10:06来源:www.ukassignment.org 编辑:留学作业网 点击:
这篇是加拿大会计作业,关于会计学的作业主要讨论证明会计学是一种自然科学。先简单讲述了会计学的发展以及一直以来大家给他是怎样定义的。最后通过辨证说明了会计学是一种自然科学。
会计学是一种自然科学
 
会计理论与实践的发展,是由动态的人类文明在经营过程中不断变化而产生的。会计作为一种被称为实践的会计学科的早期发展史,会计在创造和实践会计的过程中,似乎受到了显著的影响。然而,许多会计和会计学者认为,会计是一项技术性的价值,自由会计科目作为会计工具,把经济交易转化为有用的信息,帮助人们在组织中做出决策。因此,会计作为一个独立的技术主体,在实践中涉及到实践,并通过观察这些相互作用来说明会计和人们对会计行为的理论发展。这个假设已经被定义会计是什么的实证角度进行。因此,会计的价值,常识已经反映在会计理论,他们认为在了解会计的实证主义的观点可以通过科学的方法实现(瓦特&齐默尔曼,1990)。另一方面,英镑(1979)特别认为,会计是一门科学类似的物理科学,因为它采用的相关性和实证的可测性研究标准,从而可以在自然科学学科里分类。
 
从很久以前,会计主要研究的实证主义学者认为会计作为一种科学常识的优势。瓦特和齐默尔曼(1990)对积极会计理论的发展有着重要的贡献,后来许多研究都涉及到积极的会计理论在说明会计实务方面的积极性。然而,有些学校的思想,构思不同的方法与实证主义范式的会计。贩卖(2006)中提到的替代会计理论的发展,对积极会计理论的批判促进了不同的会计观,会计不是一个科学的学科,而是把它归类为一种社会科学常识,因为会计与人的行为和社会的相互作用有关。
 
会计学是一种自然科学-Is Accounting Is A Physical Science 
 
Accounting theories and practice has been develops and evolves over the years as a result from the changing in business interaction carried by dynamic human civilization. As an early history of accounting discipline which being said was born from the practice, accounting is seems significantly influenced by the people who created and practices the accounting. However, many accountants and accounting scholars believe that accounting is a technical value free subject as accounting has been used as tools to communicate the economic transactions into useful information in helping people in organization to make a decision. Therefore, accounting is treated as separate technical subject from the people who involves in practicing it and then, theories are being developed by observing these interactions to interpret the accounting and the people's behavior towards accounting. This underlying assumption has being carried by the positivist view in defining what is accounting all about. Hence, the positivist view about accounting as value free knowledge has been reflected in their accounting theories where they believe in understanding about accounting can be achieved through scientific methodology (Watt & Zimmerman, 1990). On the other hand, Sterling (1979) specifically argued that accounting is a science similar like a physical science as it employs the relevance and empirical testability research criteria and thus can be classified in natural science discipline.
 
From the long years ago, the major research in accounting has been dominant by the positivist scholars who believe in accounting as a scientific knowledge. Watt and Zimmerman (1990) contribute significantly on the development of positive accounting theory and later many studies are referring to the positive accounting theory in conducting research in interpreting the accounting practices. However, there are others school of thoughts that conceptualizing the accounting in different approaches which contradict to the positivist paradigm. The development of alternative accounting theories as mentioned in Gaffikin (2006) as critique towards positive accounting theories has promote different view of accounting where accounting is not a scientific subject like a physical science, rather it classify into a social science knowledge because accounting is concerned with the human behavior and social interaction.
 
会计是一种自然科学还是一种社会科学?-IS ACCOUNTING IS A PHYSICAL SCIENCE OR A SOCIAL SCIENCE?
 
Therefore, from my point of view, the answer for the question whether accounting is a physical science or a social science is I believe that accounting is a social science rather than natural science and accounting cannot be regarded as a technical value free knowledge like a physical science. This is due to the fact that, accounting were created by human being and practice by the accountants that involve with subjective matters in making judgments and interpretations. Though Sterling (1979) argued that accounting maintain the objectivity criteria and thus holds the scientific nature, but accounting can be influenced by many other subjective factors include social belief system, cultural, individual mind and judgment. Therefore, accounting is not solely a technical tools used by the accountants to measure the economic transaction without influenced by the human interaction. By contrast, the belief about accounting as scientific knowledge holds by the positivist view has ignored the fact that environmental factors has given influenced to the accounting practice.
 
Accounting is a discipline that closely related to the accountants as human being who practices the accounting. Though there are accountings standards that provide the rules and guidelines for the accountants in performing their tasks, these accounting standards also subjected to the interpretation and used by the accountants depend on their capacity in making the judgments and interpretations on such rules. Therefore, accounting cannot be measured independently from those who practicing it unlike physical science where physicians view the knowledge on physic as natural value free knowledge which stand independently from human creation. The positivist view employs the similar criteria in natural sciences where accounting and accountants' behaviors can be measured and predicted empirically through using the accounting numbers and the market information. However, accountants' behaviors associates with the natural character of human being which are unique and not universal, thus their behaviors and tendency in making judgment are very subjective. The the limitation of the positivist view to capture the uniqueness of accountants as human being and the subjectivity matters in accountants' judgments reveals that accounting is not a science like physical science. The alternative views of accounting thought which giving more consideration on subjectivity of human being is more appropriate in conceptualizing the accounting. This stand carried by interpretive approach where accounting is classified under social science discipline (Chua, 1986). Therefore, I agreed with the point that accounting is not a natural science and cannot be treated like a physical science as accounting rely heavily on the human judgment and cannot be treated as a "thing" that can be measured and observed separately from people who practiced accounting.
 
In addition, accounting is not only influenced by the accountants as individual who practicing the accounting, but many studies has proved that accounting also being influenced by the environmental factors as a result from social interaction within the society. There are growing a number of accounting research that relates the culture influences towards the accounting development. For example, Gray (1988) has initiated the development of theory of cultural influence on the development of accounting system. Finding from his studies has contributed greatly in understanding how the cultural factors may influence the accounting system development followed by many other researches that proved the cultural influence in accounting such as Baydoun & Willet (1995), Fechne & Kilgore (1994) and Tsakumis (2007). Therefore, accounting also develops and evolves as a result from cultural influence and thus proved to be dynamic in nature. On the other hand, natural science like physics is static in nature where natural science treated the physics knowledge as static object without being influenced by social factors. This fact shows that accounting fit better as a social science rather than physical science. This argument also supported by Lowe and Thinker (1989) as cited by Gaffikin (2006) where they denote that "accounting should be regarded as integral parts of social science". Thus, my point of view agreed with the views which belief in accounting as a social science discipline which subjected to the influenced given by the environmental and cultural factors.
 
Other than that, accounting cannot be regarded as science like a physical science due to the reason that accounting is not a functioned to provide absolute information as presented by the accounting numbers in financial statement. Accounting numbers in the financial statement is not an absolute number because accounting process involves subjective matter in interpreting the economic transaction. Thus, though accounting maintains the objectivity measures in recording and reporting the economic transaction, it does not provide an accurate numbers where all accountants can agree with the same interpretation. Therefore, accounting is not like a natural science like physics where the numbers and measures are can be validated by other researchers as "accurate" (Stamp, 1981). For example, accountants and the user of the financial statement are usually concern on the concept "true and fair" view in the financial reporting. However, the concept of true and fair views only giving certain level of assurance in which financial information are reported as "true and fair" view. Accountants cannot prepare a financial report based on absolute true of economic reality because accounting process involves many assumptions, estimations and consist of inherent risks. Therefore, accounting numbers cannot be regarded as absolute truth. It shows that accounting is not like a natural science where the scientist always looking for the absolute truth in their research. Accounting not just a matter of technical subject but accounting is a result from the process of human interaction which closely related to the human judgment and interpretation. Thus, accounting can be regarded as a social science discipline as quoted from Burchell et al. (1985: 381) which stated that accounting is "coming to be seen as a social rather than a purely technical phenomenon".


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