Accounting Theory – Useless or Useful? Theory could be defined as “a coherent set of hypothetical, conceptual and pragmatic principles forming the general framework of reference for a field of inquiry” (Henriksen, 1970, p.
1). However, some people argue against the study of theory, and ask questions such as “why do students of accounting need to bother with the study of “theories”? Why not just spend the precious time studying some more of the numerous accounting standards or other pronouncements of the accounting profession?” A few go as far as to label some accounting theories as “dead philosophical movements, which have provided no accomplishment; empty and commonplace; imperiously dictatorial; and marred by oversights, inconsistencies and paradoxes.
Required: Critically evaluate the need or lack of need for accounting theory, in the light of at least three well-known and established theories used in the field of accounting.
a. Your essay should clearly identify at least three accounting theories, with a brief evaluation of each one.
b. An overall evaluation of the usefulness or otherwise of accounting theories should be provided.