Curriculum vitae

Richard Jacques

Professeur émérite
Tel :
Bureau : P. 511



Rambaud A., Richard J. (2015), The "Triple Depreciation Line" instead of the "Triple Bottom Line": Towards a genuine integrated reporting, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 33, p. 92–116

The 'Triple Bottom Line' (TBL) is a major and increasingly used socio-environmental accounting framework. However, critical academic examinations of this model have been remained scarce and most importantly, no real alternatives have been developed. Thus this theoretical paper provides a contribution to fill this gap. Through a critical analysis of the TBL, we argue that it suffers from severe limitations. In particular, it does not protect human and natural capital (HNC). As an answer to these problems, we propose and discuss another accounting framework, the 'Triple Depreciation Line' (TDL), which extends to HNC the powerful capitalist accounting tool for preserving financial capital - the historical cost accounting (HCA) and its planned depreciation. To this end, we analyse and (re-)define the concept of capital in an ecological accounting context. We clearly specify the assumptions on which the TDL relies, to facilitate comparisons or dialogues with other accounting models and to avoid misunderstanding as in the case of the TBL. These axioms concern what we call the 'social' (axioms SA1-2) and 'corporate' (axioms AA1-4) capital maintenance. While the two first appeal to the most precise ontological investigation possible of HNC, the others imply mainly the recourse to the HCA and its depreciation.

Chelli M., Durocher S., Richard J. (2014), France's new economic regulations: insights from institutional legitimacy theory, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 27, 2, p. 283-316

Purpose - The paper seeks to adopt an institutional view of legitimacy to examine how a sample of French companies reacted to the introduction of the "New Economic Regulations" in French law in 2001 requiring that publicly listed companies disclose environmental information.Design/methodology/approach - The approach used in the paper is both quantitative and qualitative. A content analysis of environmental disclosure provided in annual reports, environmental reports and web sites by 26 French companies listed in the CAC 40 is performed throughout the period 2001-2011.Findings - The findings of this study show a significant and enduring improvement in the quality and quantity of environmental disclosure from 2001 to 2011. Even in the absence of penalties for non-compliance, the NRE law stimulated a stark and positive lasting change in the way that French companies account for their environmental information. These findings are consistent with the institutional view of legitimacy theory whereby legislation provides corporate managers with a representation of relevant audiences' perceptions about social and environmental reporting, prompting them to comply with the law to ensure organizational legitimacy.Originality/value - Social and environmental reporting studies generally adopt a strategic view of legitimacy to examine how organizations use social and environmental reporting to respond strategically to legitimacy threats. This study provides early empirical evidence about the relevance of institutional legitimacy theory in explaining environmental reporting.

Richard J. (2014), The dangerous dynamics of modern capitalism: From static to IFRS' futuristic accounting, Critical Perspectives on Accounting

In this article, we utilize accounting history to demonstrate that modern capitalist accounting has evolved similarly in four prominent countries (France, Germany, Great Britain and the United States) and that this evolution has been in a dangerous direction. Using the Classic Continental European Accounting Theory lens, we show that, since the industrial revolution, capitalist financial accounting and capital calculation have progressed through the same three main stages: static, dynamic and futuristic. We also maintain that this process has permitted an unbridled acceleration of profit recognition, which contributes significantly to financial crises manifestations.

Richard J. (2013), La nature n'a pas de prix... Mais sa maintenance a un coût, Projet, 332, p. 81-87

Richard J. (2012), The victory of the prussian railway "dynamic" accounting over the public finance and patrimonial accounting models (1838-1884): an early illustration of the appearance of the second stage of capitalist financial accounting and a testimony against the agency and the market for excuses theories, The Accounting Historians Joumal, 39, 1, p. 91-126

The history of accounting for private railway companies in Germany shows that these companies played a major role in the diffusion of historical cost accounting principles and gave birth, together with big other joint stock companies, to the dynamic" or second stage of capitalist accounting, at least in continental Europe. If the representatives of such railway companies did not develop new concepts of accounting, notably as concerned depreciation, they had, by 1875-1879, elaborated a new theory of accounting (historical cost or dynamic theory).This theory had a profound impact at least on the German theorists of the late 19th century and early 20th centuries such as Simon, Rieger and Schmalenbach. This new theory was needed to justify a new law favoring shareholders in a hurry for returns on their investments rather than company creditors. It also defeated the ideology of public finance and patrimonial (or static) theories of accounting. This new theory preceded the law which promulgated the new approach and clearly defended the private interests of shareholders as opposed to those of the public in the strict sense. It appears to contradict Watts and Zimmermanns basic hypothesis of the «theory of market excuses». Agency theory seemingly does not to apply either, for the new theory was proposed by managers allied to shareholders, specifically those «hurried share-holders", against creditors. This is why a kind of «theory of cJliance» appears to be more consistent with these developments. The main reasons for developing the new accounting theory were linked to the issue of dividends. It was necessary to find an accounting approach which would allow the distribution of dividends at the very beginning of an investment cycle. It was also intended to find an accounting approach which would ensure that profits were distributed as evenly as possible throughout the entire investment cycle and among the different shareholders who had financed the investment. Hence, the second stage of the capitalist accounting development was not connected to measure of performance or information problems (monitoring and bonding) but seems to have been caused by the need to regulate profits and dividends in the interests of managers and shareholders. However, as this change took place within the framework of prudence, it was impossible, at that stage of capitalist accounting, to achieve a perfect smoothing of the rate of accounting profit. The solution to this problem was only to be found at the end of the 20th century with the onset of the third or actuarial stage and the "discovery" of fair value.

Bicalho T., Richard J., Bessou C. (2012), Limitations of LCA in environmental accounting for biofuels under RED, Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 3, 2, p. 218-234

Purpose - The Renewable Energy Directive (RED) is a specific example of life cycle assessment (LCA) applied to legislative measures that have far-reaching implications for economic operators. This paper aims to analyze LCA limitations for biofuels based on RED from an environmental accounting perspective. Design/methodology/approach - LCA limitations are identified on the basis of a literature review and illustrated in the specific context of RED. The limitations encountered within the study were classified into two categories: lack of data, and lack of standards. From this perspective, the LCA-based problems and their implication and possible improvements in the RED context are discussed. Findings - The study identifies that the absence of an environmental accounting that could provide periodic enterprise-specific information is a significant cause of limitations of LCA as a decision-supporting tool within RED. In turn, environmental accounting approaches address a number of initiatives that are not systematically linked with LCA research. The paper recommends that RED should provide rules to address enterprise-specific data in addition to other methodological approaches to overcome problems already discussed in the extant literature. This would enable RED to provide economic incentives more effectively and promote the application of environmental accounting systems in companies with higher quality data for LCA applications. Originality/value - This paper explains how LCA applications could be improved by the introduction of environmental accounting systems and how RED could be more effective by considering environmental accounting.

Bousquet J., Anto J., Sterk P., Adcock I., Chung K., Roca J., Agusti A., Brightling C., Cambon-Thomsen A., Cesario A., Abdelhak S., Antonarakis S., Avignon A., Ballabio A., Baraldi E., Baranov A., Bieber T., Bockaert J., Brahmachari S., Brambilla C., Bringer J., Dauzat M., Ernberg I., Fabbri L., Froguel P., Galas D., Gojobori T., Hunter P., Jorgensen C., Kauffmann F., Kourilsky P., Kowalski M., Lancet D., Le Pen C., Mallet J., Mayosi B., Mercier J., Metspalu A., Nadeau J., Ninot G., Noble D., Oztürk M., Palkonen S., Préfaut C., Rabe K., Renard E., Roberts R., Samolinski B., Schünemann H., Simon H-U., Soares M., Superti-Furga G., Tegner J., Verjovski-Almeida S., Wellstead P., Wolkenhauer O., Wouters E., Balling R., Brookes A., Charron D., Pison C., Chen Z., Hood L., Auffray C. (2011), Systems medicine and integrated care to combat chronic noncommunicable diseases, Genome Medicine, 3, 7, p. 12

We propose an innovative, integrated, cost-effective health system to combat major non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular, chronic respiratory, metabolic, rheumatologic and neurologic disorders and cancers, which together are the predominant health problem of the 21st century. This proposed holistic strategy involves comprehensive patient-centered integrated care and multi-scale, multi-modal and multi-level systems approaches to tackle NCDs as a common group of diseases. Rather than studying each disease individually, it will take into account their intertwined gene-environment, socio-economic interactions and co-morbidities that lead to individual-specific complex phenotypes. It will implement a road map for predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory (P4) medicine based on a robust and extensive knowledge management infrastructure that contains individual patient information. It will be supported by strategic partnerships involving all stakeholders, including general practitioners associated with patient-centered care. This systems medicine strategy, which will take a holistic approach to disease, is designed to allow the results to be used globally, taking into account the needs and specificities of local economies and health systems.

Phuong N., Richard J. (2011), Economic Transition and Accounting System Reform in Vietnam, European Accounting Review, 20, 4, p. 693-725

Since 1986, Vietnam has been reforming its economic system, moving from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented economy connected to the rest of the world. This process has been shaped by the tensions and power relationship between moderate and radical reformers and the interaction of their reform strategies. This paper demonstrates that, unlike many reforms in former socialist countries, the Vietnamese accounting reform resulted from both external pressures and internal needs. Because Vietnam switched from state capitalism to a type of mixed capitalism, the country was in a position to adapt the former 'socialist' accounting system relatively 'quietly', moving towards a private capitalist accounting model but preserving many fundamental peculiarities of the old system. The maintenance of the old accounting structure can be explained by the continuity of the political, economic and social environment. However, the transformation has also generated some difficulties due to adapting a private capitalist accounting system to work in a state-dominated market economy.

Richard J. (2010), Hommage à Iaroslav Viatcheslavovitch Sokolov, Comptabilité contrôle audit, 16, 3, p. 187-188

Stolowy H., Richard J., Ding Y. (2008), Towards an Understanding of the Phases of Goodwill Accounting in Four Western Capitalist Countries: From Stakeholder Model to Shareholder Model, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 33, 7-8, p. 718-755

The objective of this paper is to illustrate that the change in shareholders' attitude towards firms (from stakeholder model to shareholder model) influences the accounting treatments of goodwill. Our study is based on four countries (Great Britain, the United States, Germany, and France) and covers more than a century, starting in 1880. We explain that all these countries have gone through four identified phases of goodwill accounting, classified as (1) “static” (immediate or rapid expensing), (2) “weakened static” (write-off against equity), (3) “dynamic” (recognition with amortization over a long period) and (4) “actuarial” (recognition without amortization but with impairment if necessary). We contribute several new features to the existing literature on goodwill: our study (1) is international and comparative, (2) spans more than a century, (3) uses the stakeholder/shareholder models to explain the evolution in goodwill treatment in the four countries studied. More precisely, it relates a balance sheet theory, which distinguishes four phases in accounting treatment for goodwill, to the shift from a stakeholder model to a shareholder model, which leads to the preference for short-term rather than long-term profit, (4) contributes to the debate on whether accounting rules simply reflect or arguably help to produce the general trend towards the shareholder model, (5) demonstrates a “one-way” evolution of goodwill treatment in the four countries studied, towards the actuarial phase.

Boukari M., Richard J. (2007), Les incidences comptables du passage des groupes français cotés aux IFRS, Comptabilité contrôle audit, N° thématique - supplément, p. 155-169

Cette étude se distingue des travaux de recherche précédents sur l'étendue de l'impact de la transition aux IFRS par sa complétude et son homogénéité. S'agissant de la complétude, elle se fonde sur des observations issues d'une base de données exhaustive de 483 groupes non financiers cotés, à savoir la base des comptes consolidés de la Banque de France. S'agissant de l'homogénéité, elle retient exclusivement les groupes français soumis à l'obligation du passage aux IFRS et mesure les impacts par rapport aux seuls comptes de l'année de transition, l'exercice 2004. Ces deux atouts conjugués à la simplicité de la méthodologie permettent d'obtenir une appréciation suffisamment fiable des impacts macro-économiques de la transition. L'étude offre également une vue des comportements micro-économiques des groupes et une analyse des causes normatives qui sont à l'origine des impacts observés. Dans le cadre de cet article, nous proposons une lecture des principaux résultats à la lumière des débats auxquels le changement de référentiel comptable fait échos.

This study distinguishes from previous research works on the area of IFRS First Time Adoption (FTA) impact by its completeness and its homogeneity. As regards completeness, it is based on observations stemming from an exhaustive data base of 483 not-financial listed groups, namely Banque de France database of consolidated financial statements. As regards homogeneity, it holds exclusively French groups subjected to the obligation of IFRS adoption and measures impacts for only the year of transition, the fiscal year 2004. These two properties conjugated to simplicity of the methodology allow obtaining a reliable appreciation of macroeconomic impacts of transition. The study also offers a sight of microeconomic behavior of groups and an analysis of normative causes which are at the origin of observed variations. In this article, we propose a reading of principal results in the light of debates to which change in financial reporting standards makes echoes.

Richard J. (2005), The concept of fair value in French and German accounting regulations from 1673 to 1914 and its consequences for the interpretation of the stages of development of capitalist accounting, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 16, 6, p. 825-850

At the dawn of the 21st century, the appearance of fair value accounting is often presented as, if not a revolution, at least an innovation. The present article on the history of "value" as used in German and French accounting regulations from 1673 to 1914 will show that although valuation at cost would seem to predominate in the first European regulations (ca. 1673-1800), a special kind of fair value valuation was highly recommended by the legal community after 1800 and left its mark on German and French accounting regulations for the whole of the 19th century and even beyond that. On the basis of this statement it is shown that French and German capitalist accounting systems passed through four main stages of development from 1643 to 2003.

Chenciner A., Féjoz J., Montgomery R. (2005), Rotating Eights: I. The three ?i families, Nonlinearity, 18, 3, p. 1407-1424

We show that three families of relative periodic solutions bifurcate out of the Eight solution of the equal-mass three-body problem: the planar Hénon family, the spatial Marchal P12 family and a new spatial family. The Eight, considered as a spatial curve, is invariant under the action of the 24-element group D6 × Z2. The three families correspond to symmetry breakings where the invariance group becomes isomorphic to D6, the three D6s being embedded in the larger group in different ways. The proof of the existence of these three families relies on writing down the action integral in a rotating frame, viewing the angular velocity of the frame as a parameter, exploiting the invariance of the action under a group action which acts on the angular velocities as well as the curves and, finally, checking numerically the non-degeneracy of the Eight. Pictures and numerical evidence of the three families are presented at the end.

Richard J. (2004), The secret past of fair value : lessons from history applied to the French case, Accounting in Europe, 1, 1, p. 95-107

This article reviews the present state of the debate in France on the introduction of IFRS. It suggests that history shows that market value was the dominant approach to balance sheet valuation in the nineteenth century, and analyses the ultimate replacement of static theory, using market values, by dynamic theory, which is based on historical cost and the going concern and permits the systematic write-off of assets, and allows more regular payment of dividends. The article suggests that IFRS, based on a mixture of fair value and value in use, assumes a valuation of companies based on their future profitability, hence the description of the approach as forward-looking accounting.

Richard J. (2003), De la modernité des normes internationales et de la juste valeur en comptabilité, Entreprises et Histoire, 33, p. 127


Richard J., Plot E. (2014), La gestion environnementale, Paris?, 126 p. p.

Ce livre pose les fondements d'une nouvelle conception de l'enseignement et de la pratique de la gestion soucieuse du respect de l'homme et de la nature dans le cadre d'une acception forte du développement durable.Il présente les différentes fonctions de l'entreprise selon ce prisme (stratégie, marketing, achats, production, comptabilité et finance). À partir d'exemples concrets, il montre que, pour réaliser une véritable responsabilité sociale des firmes, il faut revoir les concepts d'entreprise et de profit, mettre fin à la prééminence de la finance et des IFRS (normes internationales d'information financière). Cette refonte de l'entreprise se fera avec une nouvelle gouvernance démocratique, cogestionnaire, environnementale.Proposant une approche à la fois pédagogique et pratique, cet ouvrage pourra servir aux praticiens de la gestion soucieux de responsabilité sociale et environnementale. Il a aussi pour ambition de contribuer à une réforme profonde de l'enseignement de la gestion.

Richard J., Bensadon D., Collette C. (2014), Comptabilité financière : IFRS versus normes françaises, Paris?, Dunod, XIII-702 p. p.

La mondialisation de l'économie et des systèmes d'information bouleverse l'enseignement de la comptabilité. À jour des dernières réformes des normes IFRS et du système comptable français, cet ouvrage de référence offre une formation complète, théorique et technique : o exposé des différentes conceptions de la comptabilité ; o mise en perspective historique et sociale des normes IFRS et des systèmes comptables ; o présentation des principaux outils et opérations comptables, illustrée d'exemples, de modèles d'écriture et d'états financiers. Entièrement mise à jour, cette 10e édition fait vivre l'opposition entre les IFRS et le modèle « français », et tient compte du modèle futuriste de la comptabilité environnementale.

Richard J. (2012), Comptabilité et développement durable, Paris, Economica, 263 pages p.

La première partie a pour objet de montrer les multiples conceptions de comptabilité correspondant aux différentes théories du développement durable. La deuxième partie passe en revue les exemples les plus marquants des grands types de comptabilités environnementales

Jaudet N., Bensadon D., Collette C., Richard J. (2011), Comptabilité financière : normes IFRS versus normes françaises, Paris?, Dunod, XVI-704 pages p.

La mondialisation de l'économie et des systèmes d'information bouleverse l'enseignement de la comptabilité. A jour des dernières réformes des normes IFRS et du système comptable français, cet ouvrage de référence offre une formation complète, théorique et technique : exposé des différentes conceptions de la comptabilité ; mise en perspective historique et sociale des normes IFRS et des systèmes comptables ; présentation des principaux outils et opérations comptables, illustrées d'exemples, de modèles d'écriture et d'états financiers. Entièrement mise à jour, cette 9e édition fait vivre l'opposition entre les IFRS et le modèle "français", et tient compte du modèle futuriste de la comptabilité environnementale.

Richard J., Collette C. (2005), Système comptable Français et normes IFRS, Paris, Dunod, 636 p.

L'option de l'IASB (dans ses nouvelles normes IFRS) de s'aligner sur les règles comptables américaines, pour l'élaboration des normes applicables `a partir de 2005 aux entreprises de l'Union européenne à bouleversé la comptabilité d'entreprise. Cet ouvrage étudie la théorie comptable traditionnelle, puis la pratique découlant des normes IFRS ainsi que sa confrontation à la réglementation française.

Salzer J., Simonet R., Soudée R. (2004), Former à l'écoute? : 55 fiches de formation à l'écoute? : livret du formateur, Paris, Ed. d'Organisation, 267 p.

Peut-on apprendre à écouter ? Entre ce que je crois dire, ce que je dis, ce qui est entendu et interprété, l'écoute questionne. Qu'il s'agisse de publics en formation initiale ou continue, de programmes centrés sur la communication, l'argumentation, l'entretien, la conduite de réunions, la négociation, la médiation... l'entraînement à l'écoute et la prise de conscience de ses effets semblent incontournables. Cet ouvrage propose des exercices inspirés des méthodes de l'enquête, de l'animation de groupe, de la clinique et de l'art dramatique. Pour accompagner cette approche pédagogique, un livret du formateur apporte des connaissances théoriques et pratiques en lien avec le contenu des différentes fiches.

Chapitres d'ouvrage

Richard J. (2013), Comptabilités environnementales, in Postel N., Sobel R., Chavy F. (dir.), Dictionnaire critique de la RSE, Villeneuve d'Ascq, Presses universitaires du Septentrion, p. 60-65

Depoers F., Richard J. (2012), La global reporting initiative entre responsabilité sociale de l'entreprise et développement durable, in Nikitin M., Richard C. (dir.), Comptabilité, société, politique? : mélanges en l'honneur du professeur Bernard Colasse, Paris?, Économica, p. 173-187

Stolowy H., Richard J. (2011), Le bilan d'une nation selon la banque mondiale, IFRS et comptabilité environnementale, in Simon C., Malo J-L., Hoarau C. (dir.), Comptabilité, contrôle et société : mélanges en l'honneur du professeur Alain Burlaud, Vanves, Foucher, p. 171-181

Richard J. (2010), Le financier a raison, le comptable a tort, in Pezet A., Sponem S. (dir.), Petit bréviaire des idées reçues en management, Paris?, La Découverte, p. 187-194

Richard J. (2009), Plans comptables, in Colasse B. (dir.), Encyclopédie de comptabilité, contrôle, audit, Paris, Economica, p. 1135-1144

Richard J. (2009), Comptabilités environnementales, in Colasse B. (dir.), Encyclopédie de comptabilité, contrôle, audit, Paris, Economica, p. 490-494

Richard J. (2005), Herman Veit Simon, Eugen Schmalenbach et Fritz Schmidt : les « trois S » de la pensée comptable allemande, in Colasse B. (dir.), Les Grands Auteurs en Comptabilité, Colombelles, Editions EMS, p. 73-90

Richard J. (2005), Les trois stades du capitalisme comptable français, in Capron M. (dir.), Les normes comptables internationales, instruments du capitalisme financier, Paris, La Découverte, p. 89-119

Richard J. (2001), Histoire de la valeur dans les réglementations comptables allemande et française de 1673 à 1914, in Casta J-F., Colasse B. (dir.), Juste valeur? : enjeux techniques et politiques, Paris?, Mazars?, p. 17-45


Rambaud A., Richard J. (2013), The Triple Depreciation Line (TDL) against the Triple Bottom Line (TBL): Towards a genuine integrated reporting, 8ème Congrès RIODD, Lille, France

The goal of this presentation is to analyse the concept of "Triple Bottom Line" (TBL), from a critical perspective, and to give an alternative with another concept based on another theory: the "Triple Depreciation Line" (TDL). Indeed, since "Cannibals With Forks" (Elkington, J. 1997. Oxford: Capstone), TBL has gained a tremendous notoriety. Nevertheless, the production of critical analysis of TBL has remained very scarce. Moreover, to our knowledge, no one of the critics propose an alternative to TBL. So, the first part of the talk will be dedicated to a critical analysis of TBL. We will firstly show that there are two main different ways of comprehending TBL, based respectively on the concepts of "effectiveness" and "efficiency". Then, we will notably suggest that TBL is not a novelty and emphasise that the financial capital is the only one systematically protected under TBL. In this case, as TBL does not do its "job" (the maintenance of the three capitals), we propose to take seriously the existence of different types of capital and apply to all of them the same instruments of protection as used in the case of the financial capital. This will lead us to promote TDL instead of TBL as an effective instrument for solving the urgent problems of today's capitalism. In short, we take one of the most famous weapons of capitalist accounting, the planned depreciation, and turn it on financial capitalists. Thus, in a second part, from a short analysis of depreciation in accounting, we will show how it can be used for other types of capitals, notably the Human and Environmental Capitals (HEC). This approach, TDL, is based on several assumptions: (1) firms have an obligation to protect some particular HEC that they use; (2) the use of these HEC implies a systematic degradation of them; (3) these HEC are not a priori substitutable to financial capitals: the level of their protection has to be regularly and collectively determined by their representatives, like scientists, NGOS, public organisms, etc... and firms; (4) an integrated reporting, based on a common unit, money, is needed to allow all actors to communicate. (1) and (2) firstly involve the creation of liabilities, related to the protection of the concerned HEC and of two corresponding assets (the use of these HEC). The systematic degradation of the HEC will be registered as depreciations of these assets. We will clearly present the mechanism of the TDL and discuss several consequences of this approach. In particular, the costs incurred to concretely protect the HEC become a type of investments. Moreover, as TDL concerns the balance sheet and the income statement, the focus is not only on flows but also on the capitals at stake and their relative description. In the last part, we will compare TDL with TBL and similar methods. We will replace TBL and TDL in the framework of a new emerging concept: the integrated reporting. We will argue that TBL and "integrated reporting" are basically similar things and that the TDL is the only serious mean to achieve a genuine integrated reporting.

Richard J. (2010), Meanings and Roots of the Word "Accounting". A Comparative Study of Sixty Five Languages, 15e Journées d'histoire de la comptabilité et du management, Paris, France

Au-delà des simples allusions à la question que l'on peut trouver dans un grand nombre de livres et d'articles l'étude spécifique des mots qui désignent la comptabilité dans différentes langues et de leur étymologie est relativement récente et fragmentée ; ainsi , Baladouni publie, semble t-il le premier, en 1984, un article dans « The Accounting Historians Journal »(Vol 11,Number2,p 101-109) spécifiquement dédié à l'étymologie de certains termes comptables de la langue anglaise en s'appuyant sur l'illustre « Oxford dictionary of English etymology » de Onions(1966) . On peut sans doute trouver de telles études pour les mots utilisés dans d'autres langues, ou, à défaut, consulter directement leurs dictionnaires étymologiques respectifs comme le « Duden » pour l'Allemagne, le « Fasmer » pour la Russie, le « Dubois,Mitterand et Dauzat », pour la France etc. Reste que toutes ces sources isolées ne permettent pas d'avoir une vue d'ensemble de la question. L'objectif de cet article est d'entreprendre une étude comparative systématique à l'échelle mondiale et de répondre à cinq questions principales.

The objective of this paper is to answer six main questions. Question one: what are the words that are actually used to denote "accounting" in the different nations that exist across the globe? Question two: can we classify these words into families and do these families correspond to the families of languages traditionally proposed by linguists? Question three: what families of words used to denote "accounting" are the most spoken in the world? Question four: what are the roots of these words or of these families of words? Question five: do these roots have different meanings and cast different angles of light on the nature of the "accounting science"? Question six: do these meanings imply to revisit the question of the relationship between words and objects such as debated by Michel Foucault? The main answers to these questions are that only six families of words are used to denote "accounting" for about 90% of people living on the earth; that these words are mainly not in line with the linguistic families; that the most spoken word for accounting is coming from the Semitic (practically Arabic) language; that the roots of the words used for denoting "accounting" express very different meanings that highlight the different facets of the accounting science and that , contrary to the Foucault's thesis, these words (roots) seem to give some representation of the complex nature of accounting.

Richard J. (2010), Pouvoir, gouvernance et comptabilité : une étude historique et géographique, 5e Journée d'étude du réseau thématique 30 - sociologie de la gestion, Paris, France

Richard J., Soulerot L., Gnanzou D. (2010), Opérationnaliser le concept de comptabilité environnementale : Etude de cas d'une entreprise industrielle, Colloque Le pilotage de la performance durable : enjeux inter et intra organisationnels, Paris, France

Praquin N., Richard J. (2004), Florilège de textes sur l'histoire de la théorie comptable française de la valeur (1673-1982), Nouvelles normes comptables : quels enjeux pour l'enseignement de la comptabilité, Paris, France

Richard J. (1992), Dix thèses sur la comptabilisation de l'écart d'acquisition, Comptabilité et stratégie, Bordeaux, France

Documents de travail

Richard J. (2002), The crisis and the reform of the German accounting system at the end of the XXth century : the Law on "facilitating the inflow of capital" of 1998, Cahier de recherche CEREG (DRM), Paris, Université Paris-Dauphine, 25

En 1992 [sic], suite à des pressions émanant principalement des directions des multinationales allemandes, le législateur d'outre Rhin a dû réformer le Code de Commerce par une loi qui vise à la fois, de façon ambigüe, à permettre l'évolution vers une "nouvelle" comptabilité tout en protégeant l'ancienne.

In 1998, under the pressure of the headquarters of multinationals, the German legislator was obliged to reform the Commercial Code by a new law; this law, in an ambiguous way, tends both to promote a new financial accounting system and to protect the former one.

Richard J. (2002), The crisis and the reform of the German system of controlling and auditing the accounts : the law KONTRAG of 1998, Cahier de recherche CEREG (DRM), Paris, Université Paris-Dauphine, 31

Cet article vise à présenter la loi KONTRAG (loi du 27 avril 1998 portant réforme du système de contrôle des comptes allemand), et d'en faire une analyse critique; il montre que le législateur allemand a opté pour une réforme relativement conservatrice et marquée par une certaine ambiguïté.

This article intends to explain the law KONTRAG (law of the 27th April 1998 reforming the German system of controlling the accounts) and to propose a critical analysis; it shows that the German legislator has choosen a relatively conservative reform also marked by a certain ambiguity.

Richard J. (2002), How the traditional German accounting protects the creditors and the managers : an historical and sociological survey, Cahier de recherche CEREG (DRM), Paris, Université Paris-Dauphine, 28

Cet article vise à montrer, à partir d'une étude historique et sociologique des textes réglementaires, que la comptabilité allemande "traditionnelle" vise non seulement à protéger les créanciers mais également à favoriser les intérêts à long terme des managers et des "gros" actionnaires au détriment des "petits" actionnaires et permet ainsi un réinvestissement massif des résultats en début de cycle d'investissement. Elle prend ainsi le contrepied des thèses "positivistes" traditionnelles.

This article tries to show, with an historical and sociological analysis of the reglementary texts, that the traditional German accounting intends not only to protect the creditors but also to favour the long term interests of the managers and the "big" sharesholders at the detriment of the "small" shareholders. It also shows that this type of accounting permits a massive reinvestment of the profits at the beginning of the investment cycle. All these conclusions shock with the positivist traditional point of view.

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