Positive Accounting Theory |Ten Year Assessment Answer



The overall project report was based on reviewing the four articles that had evaluated the developments and the current state of the positive accounting literature. These selected articles had shown analysis, critiques, and viewpoints regarding positive accounting theory, critical view point measurement of political and social disclosures and development of different determinants of accounting theories. This essay had provided a report about the overall discussion regarding positive accounting theories and its evaluation within a specific period. The overall discussion had described the brief analysis report about accounting principles and development of its determinants. The overall report was summarizing the development and evaluation of positive accounting theory and income determinants with the support of financial frameworks and theories.

Review of literature

The review of literature analysis would be a brief discussion of all the selected articles for this particular project report. The summarize study regarding all the selected articles were as follows:

Article 1

“Theories of Accounting: Evolution & Developments, Income-Determination and Diversities in Use.”

This article had provided with the study regarding development and evaluation of income determination and it diversified utility in the organization (Unegbu 2014). The overall research study was based on the evolution of accounting theories. This study had shown evolution in the income determination and diversification in the utilization of accounting information of the organization. This article review had adopted the exploratory research method for preparations of this literature.

Article 2

“Positive Accounting Theory and Science”

This article was based on the development of positive accounting theory, which was compared with the three standards of accounts. In the research study, it had shown that positive accounting theory was one of the most influencing accounting review technique used by the financial experts from the past few decades (Kabir 2010). This article review was all about screening the accounting could not emulate the success of natural science. This study paper had also discussed the several elementary contents by the positive accounting theory and other methodological gaps in this accounting theory.

Article 3

Positive Accounting Theory, Political Costs And Social Disclosure Analyses: A Critical Look”

This article had critically reviewed the study to establish the evidence for measuring a positive accounting theory related to corporate social disclosures (Milne 2002). As per the study of the article, it had described that the ‘positive accounting theory’ concepts were totally based on the some social theories and their disclosures. There were some criticisms and arguments that had provided with support to the social disclosures on the positive accounting theory for measuring political and agency cost of the organization.

Article 4

“Positive Accounting Theory: A Ten Year Perspective”

This article review was based on the analyzing the critical review regarding positive accounting theory (Watts and Zimmerman 1990). It had also provided with a suggestion regarding explanation regarding evolution in modified accounting policies and measuring the importance of contracting cost of the organization. This article had studied all about recognizing the improvement of developing of different accounting model that was measured the errors in accounting standards of the organization. It had also shown the links between accounting theory and empirical analysis through different statistical analysis. The theoretical as well as researched fundamental of this paper was to highlight the different requirements of changing the policy of accounting to understand the different actions taken by the management of the company – including the shareholders.

Overall analysis

The study of modern accounting practice showed that positive accounting method had been revised throughout the centuries for many times. In this context, the research found that main issues were associated with the proper measurement, proportion, and recording of financial data. The evolution of bookkeeping in accounting system was one of the first approaches to presenting the accounts, which failed to generate reliable information due to its specific direction. It did not provide the information on inventory valuation, cost ascertainment and provision for depreciation. The reliability was gained through evolution of double entry system where fraud and error were omitted with the reduction in misappropriation of assets. It pushed to develop the system of presenting the accounts in GAAP format to measure the reliability of periodicity of business particulars. However, the entrusted method of accounting of resources was made through implementing the audit of the accounts (Kabir 2010).

The study of positive accounting showed that strategic position of PAT could not find any solution to the fraud and explanation of accounting choices. The emergence of accounting policy was developed for enhancing the reliability of presentation of the particulars of PAT theory. The different environment and presence of establishments in different countries might not yield the same result (Milne 2002). Presence in the various countries had forced the companies to discuss the positive accounting theory to reduce the accounts mismatch. It was desirable in this paper to understand the different accounting method for making the financial report authentic. 

The discovery of systematic patterns of accounting choice was also a conclusive matter for this study as accounting choice by the managers had the measures of the reliability of accounting. The selected method of accounting may influence the wealth as well as the earnings of the business. The study had concluded that positive accounting theory was able to recognize the significance of contracting cost. The method of finding the contracting cost may deliver the solution to the institutional differences for reliably measuring the earnings (Watts and Zimmerman 1990). It was normal to measure the accounting data using GAAP for generating accrual basis data as well as periodic review of data. It enhanced the positive accounting theory to drive the financial statements through measuring the time and place-wise for the business (Unegbu 2014).


From the above discussion, it can be concluded that positive accounting theory has generated the authentic way of presenting the accounts for the several years. The research on PAT had emerged as the continuation of improving the deficit of accounts. In this context, the four research papers have provided us the historical evidence related to the PAT. Further, the conclusion can be drawn on periodic review of the accounting presentation from the research on PAT.


Watts, R.L. and Zimmerman, J.L., 1990. Positive Accounting Theory: A Ten Year Perspective. Accounting review, pp.131-156.

Milne, M.J., 2002. Positive accounting theory, political costs and social disclosure analyses: A critical look. Critical perspectives on accounting, 13(3), pp.369-395.

Kabir, M.H., 2010. Positive accounting theory and science. Journal of Centrum Cathedra, 3(2), pp.136-149.

Unegbu, A.O., 2014. Theories of Accounting: Evolution & Developments, Income-Determination and Diversities in Use. arXiv preprint arXiv:1411.4633.


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