Truth in financial accounting

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Popular discourse about financial accounting suggests that accounting numbers, such as profit, are veridical insofar as they describe or reflect some portion of the world and misleadingly wrong or inaccurate insofar as they fail to do so. This chapter explains, through a review of key features of accounting practice, why a simple correspondence view is incorrect. Nevertheless, resonances with three broad approaches to truth can be found in aspects of accounting practice and thought. Without committing to any particular form of alethic pluralism, the chapter identifies points of connection between accounting and correspondence, coherentist and pragmatist accounts of truth. Therefore, although common sense notions of correspondence to the world might be naïvely in error, there is at least some reason to resist the idea that ‘anything goes’ with respect to the truth of financial accounting numbers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Philosophy of Money and Finance
Subtitle of host publicationCollection of Contemporary Essays
EditorsJoakim Sandberg, Lisa Warenski
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Feb 2023


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