Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Accounting and Finance


The inability of accounting authorities to move away from historical cost and find an alternate method of asset measurement has cast doubts on the relevance and reliability of accounting information. For the greater part of this century, the accounting profession has been faced with the problematic issue of asset measurement, an issue, which still today, remains unresolved. As a result of the profession's apparent inability to solve such complex issues, the accounting profession has been accused of "doing nothing" preferring to recycle important financial accounting issues.

The responsibility of solving the measurement debate was entrusted to the Australian Accounting Research Foundation (AARF), an arm of the professional bodies, which was to protect the public interest. However, well over three decades after its formation, the AARF has failed to find an adequate alternative to historical cost, leaving present day accounting activities in a state of disarray.

It will be argued in this study that the formation of the AARF was nothing than a self-serving smokescreen, used in a desperate attempt to combat unwanted criticism. Preoccupied by protecting their status quo, archival research will show that the AARF had all too often made decisions that sacrificed the public interest for their own economic self-interest. Using the translation process of power and other sociological issues, for example discourse and hegemony, this study will attempt to substantiate the above claims of doing nothing. In addition, the study will provide possible reasons as to why the accounting profession continues to recycle important accounting issues, and how it is that the profession is permitted to do so.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.