SYNOPSIS

This paper provides a commentary on the results of a content analysis of dissenting opinions in Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) standards. During 1973 to 2009 the FASB issued 171 financial accounting standards. Half of these standards contained dissenting opinions. We identify and classify dissenting opinions based on whether the arguments are conceptual (conceptual framework-related or non-framework-related) or non-conceptual (e.g., scope, due process). We examine whether the types and frequencies of arguments change over time in response to the development of the FASB's conceptual framework and provide a commentary on the role of these opinions and the usefulness of analyzing them for research and practice. Our main finding from our analysis is that conceptual arguments are the most frequently used in the dissenting opinions, both before and after the introduction of the conceptual framework. However, of note is that many of the arguments raised, while conceptual in nature, are not from the conceptual framework. We suggest this indicates either a need for the conceptual framework language to be more widely used by the authors of dissenting opinions and/or the emergence of new conceptual arguments that may be relevant for future revisions of the conceptual framework.

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