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The theorical and historical evolution of firm Accounting: Premises for a generalist approach to Reporting


With the transposition into national laws of Directive 2014/95/UE on disclosure of non- financial information by large companies, the social and environmental responsibility has taken on new significance in the recent accounting debate. This paper moves in particular from the develop- ments of that topic in Italian Ragioneria and in French Comptabilité coming to propose a generalist approach to the business reporting embracing both kinds of information, financial and not financial. From an historical point of view the theme of social and environmental responsibility has been pro- gressively developed in the twentieth century on Italian and French research getting more and more importance. Correspondently the non-financial reporting topic has been increasingly treated from one side as an evolution or extension while from the other side in opposition to the already consolidated financial reporting. Only a minor attention has been paid to the general concept of reporting. The first part of this paper retraces the evolution of social and environmental responsibility and nonfinancial reporting in Ragioneria and in Comptabilité. In the second part of the paper the authors develop the theoretical foundation for a generalized reporting framework based on the global corporate perfor- mance where converging all the aspects, financial and not-financial, of the company life.