teoria de contabilidade
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as a social science with a strong economic basis. Some views and approaches to the concept of accounting will be revisited, as well as theories and the historical circumstances and other factors that may explain accounting as a genuine social science.
In the more advanced interpretation of our discipline, the scientific quality of accounting should be searched preferentially in a series of characteristics, such as, for example: the understanding and measuring of equity elements; the preponderant application of economic value rather than simple costs or prices; the predictive power of financial statements; the introduction of the risk factor and time value of money in accounting evaluations, as well as the consideration of imputed costs and of opportunity costs. The relevance of accounting stems from the observation of the above-mentioned key issues as well as by the incorporation of the prevalence of essence over form into its conceptual framework, in the field of socially applied knowledge area of an economic-financial nature, with ramifications in the areas of productivity, environment protection and social responsibility, with necessary quantitative features as to its mechanics of functioning.
It is evident that, for research purposes and to enhance certain dimensions, accounting may be studied under a variety of approaches, such as the ethical, the macroeconomic, the institutional and social, the behavioral, the systemic and the historical, among others, but accounting is much more than any of its particular approaches.
Finally, one subsidiary objective of this paper is to help trying to answer, at least partially, on the question which addresses to almost an enigma: after all, what is accounting?
Keywords: Accounting; Epopee; Historical Evolution; Approaches; Scientific Quality; Theories;