Started to develop this in 1987:
Basic idea that since the establishment of accounting standards involves delegated legislative authority, such standards need to be interpreted from a legal perspective, where there are two basic burdens of proof: beyond reasonable doubt, and balance of probabilities. Found that, at the time, most Canadian accounting standards were of the balance of probabilities variety. This means 50% plus 1, not 80%.
Yet in the recent criminal trial of the Nortel executives, relating to the appropriate treatment of accruals, there was testimony as to some 70% or so range.
All of the executives were acquitted. Accounting standard-setters, with their delegated legislative authority, do not establish their own burden of proof.
So, nearly thirty years later…