Inscribing the Future: Goodwill Accounting at the Nexus of Financial and Management Accounting

Berit Hartmann, Jan Mouritsen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch


This paper examines how a particular part of IFRS, the requirements for goodwill accounting, influences organisational calculative practices, transforming and shaping operations management. Stepping away from a-priori boundaries between different accounting disciplines, this research contributes to existing financial and management accounting literature with an in depth case study on the consequences of standard setting in the organisational realm. Whilst financial accounting standards have shown to be intervening with other fields of societal activities, this study places emphasis on the organisational realm and the interrelation between financial accounting standardisation and operations management. Drawing on an actor-network lens, the study shows how the calculative practices introduced by IFRS associated with many parts of the organisation. Although different interests and ambitions in accounting remained, the standards intervened by both fostering and forcing communication between actors. The standardisation of accounting practice in the group granted procedural legitimacy to the reported numbers in a network of dispersed calculation. At the same time, however, these links required a new form of expertise, a shared expertise between parts of the firm that otherwise would have been preferred to stay independent. Dilemma and conflicts arise in a tension between standardisation and flexibility of business decisions, in the aim to define a value of the future for financial reporting that also becomes relevant in the creation of value for a future.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2013
Number of pages43
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventThe 2nd Workshop on Financial Reporting and Auditing as Social and Organizational Practice - London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Dec 201317 Dec 2013
Conference number: 2


WorkshopThe 2nd Workshop on Financial Reporting and Auditing as Social and Organizational Practice
LocationLondon School of Economics and Political Science
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
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