International Accounting

Five axioms of the double entry accounting system

Vol. 21, Iss. 2, FEBRUARY 2018

Received: 11 January 2018

Received in revised form: 22 January 2018

Accepted: 30 January 2018

Available online: 15 February 2018


JEL Classification: M40, M41

Pages: 189–203

Kolchugin S.V. Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation

ORCID id: not available

Importance The article sets forth the principles of the axiomatic theory of accounting, which helps explain the double entry system as a preferable result of the adopted systems of axioms.
Objectives I outline the principles of the axiomatic theory of accounting and explain the double entry system as a desired result of the implicitly adopted system of accounting axioms.
Methods The methodological framework comprises such methods as the axiomatic method, deduction, complete induction, comparison and logic generalization.
Results I found out that the double entry system is a desired result of four accounting axioms, that were implicitly accepted. I specify the definition the fact of economic activities and study its qualities. I prove the first and second postulates of Luca Pacioli and analyze the design of the accounting theory from axiomatic perspectives. The article indicates what causes the existing drawbacks of the double entry system of accounting.
Conclusions and Relevance The existing double entry system of accounting can be represented as an axiomatic theory. From perspectives of the axiomatic theory of accounting, it is possible to explain the practical direction of the accounting development as a scientific discipline. The accounting theory is underdeveloped since the system of axioms is of technical nature and there are no formal rules for inference on the basis of the axiomatic system. Thus, the axiomatic system should be revised and formal rules for inference should be adopted.

Keywords: accounting methodology, accounting theory, axiom, double entry


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