This paper describes the development of what has been regarded as accounting theory concentrating largely on that in the first 70 years of the 20th century. It demonstrates that a major motivation for this theory was the generally accepted belief in the need for greater conceptual rigour in accounting theory and research. A major part of this theorising was designed to solve a major accounting problem, viz accounting in periods of changing prices, notably inflation. In examining this early theorizing the paper describes the elements of theories and their use by academic theorists, practitioner theories and theories from various committees.
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