SYNOPSIS: A broad consensus in accounting favors principles over rules to guide creation of a uniform high-quality set of standards for use everywhere, and granting monopoly power to a single body for this purpose. If implemented into policy, this consensus will discourage discovery of and evolution toward better methods of financial reporting, make it difficult to conduct comparative studies of the consequences of using alternative methods of accounting, promote substitution of analysis and thinking by rote learning in accounting classes, help discourage talented youth from collegiate programs in accounting, and probably endanger the place of accounting discipline in university curricula. Because the presumed benefits in the form of increased comparability of financial reports internationally or stateside are unlikely to be realized, the wisdom of undertaking these burdens remains questionable. The paper calls for a re-examination of the accounting consensus.

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