When Joel Demski published his now classic paper, “The general impossibility of normative accounting standards” (1973), one read an interesting argument, based on calculus proofs. If one steps back, and reflects on accounting standards as a form of legislation, legislation does not typically have a normative (“should”) dimension, other than in the sense that “if you don’t want negative consequences, you shouldn’t do that”.
Based on Demski, others have argued that accounting standards are “social preference incomplete”, as well as “decision-procedure incomplete”. In other words, not everyone will approve or support the accounting standard promulgated, and such standard will, in any event, not cover all possible circumstances to which it relates.
This is all taken as a given, in terms of legislation generally, plus also in considering the ongoing role of a legislature. Laws are continually passed. Laws are continually amended. Rarely by unanimous vote.
Therefore, in terms of accounting standards….