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Accounting classification and the international harmonisation debate: a reply to a comment
Anne d'Arcy[pic], [pic]
Deutsche Bank AG, Taunusanlage 12, D-60325, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Available online 26 November 2003.

Abstract
In this issue of this journal, Christopher Nobes comments on my classification of accounting systems [Accounting Organizations and Society (2001) 26, 327]. He concludes that the classification is unsound because the nature of the data made them unsuitable and they contained errors. I took as a source for my selection process a database that reflects the decisions of the EU directives and the Transnational Accounting (TRANSACC) editors to describe important recognition and valuation rules. This process was made explicit and followed reasonable principles. According to the accuracy issues raised, some discrepancies could be explained by different interpretations. Additionally, the conclusion is still valid as the results are shown to be robust to variations of weightings and methods hence also to unsystematic failures.
Article Outline
• Introduction: Nobes’ concerns
• Objective of the study and interpretation of some results
• Important versus unimportant variables: composition of the database
• Other aspects of suitability
• Errors and disputable interpretations
• Conclusion
• References

Introduction: Nobes’ concerns
In this issue of this journal, Christopher Nobes comments on my classification of accounting systems ([d'Arcy, 2001]). 1 He concludes that the classification is unsound because the nature of the data made them unsuitable and they contained errors.
In particular the following concerns were raised:
1.That I did not question counter-intuitive results for Australia but just sought to explain them. This research method is then associated with other classification approaches e.g. [Da Costa et al., 1978 and Goodrich, 1982].
2.Important issues in a data set may be swamped by trivial ones. Additionally, as the...

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