Stephen A. Zeff

Publication Date



Institutional efforts in the U.S. to develop a conceptual framework for business enterprises can be traced to the Paton and Littleton monograph in 1940 and later to the two Accounting Research Studies by Moonitz and Sprouse in 1962-1963. A committee of the American Accounting Association issued an influential report in which it advocated a decision usefulness approach in 1966, which was carried forward in 1973 by the report of the American Institute of CPAs' Trueblood Committee. All of this laid the groundwork for the conceptual framework project of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which published six concepts statements between 1978 and 1985. A seventh concepts statement is likely to be published in 2000. It is still not clear how the FASB's conceptual framework has influenced the setting of accounting standards, and some academic commentators are skeptical of the usefulness of all normative conceptual framework projects.



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