Accounting and Performance Measurement: Issues in the Private and Public Sectors

This collection, edited by Irvine Lapsley and Falconer Mitchell, comprises a broad range of chapters by a group of acknowledged accounting experts. Together they provide an investigation and analysis of these issues in both private and public sector settings. Their variety in focus, content, and method reveals the scale of the challenge facing researchers in this important area of contemporary accounting.

The measurement of performance is a central focus of accounting, but one which presents the accountant with a continuing challenge. Accounting performance measures are no more than surrogates for a complex and dynamic reality. Their selections and fit raises these fundamental measurement issues:

– The fragility of the money measurement unit.
– The limitation of asset values in the context of imperfect markets.
– The standardization of accounting syntax.
– The derivation of accounting ratios.
– The verification and selection of measurements.

In addition, the use and impact of selected measures, the dimensions of performance to be measured, the interpretation of persona, the extent of disclosure, and the social and economic context in which the measures are produced and used are all concerns of the accounting information producer.