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Accounting for Inclusion: Constructing User Relevance to Private Investors
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies. (Musica)
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The issue of how to comply with various needs for financial information is said to have low priority within the financial reporting field. Prior research has demonstrated that rather than aiming at including all sorts of potential users, standard setters for example tend to ignore and exclude everyone but the sophisticated ones. This paper, however, investigates the preparation of financial information intended to be used by different kinds of private investors, sophisticated as well as unsophisticated. Informed by categorisation theory, the paper examines the means whereby a pension insurance company determines how numbers and financial accounts need to be presented so as to come across as useful to different pension saver characters. The paper demonstrates how this inclusion dilemma is connected to practices of relevance building, and that relevance is assumed to be a question of individual sense-making and contextualisation. The paper’s findings problematise the influential power of accounting by implying that a direct impact of financial accounts cannot be taken for granted. Rather, in order for an account to have effects on its intended users, it is assumed that the account needs to be made relevant by means of re-moulding it in accordance with the specifics of its user.

Keyword [en]
user inclusion/exclusion, financial communication, categorisation, relevance building, pension savers
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172677OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-172677DiVA: diva2:515415
Available from: 2012-04-12 Created: 2012-04-12 Last updated: 2012-05-14

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Bay, Charlotta
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