Uncertainty expressions in accounting: Critical issues and recommendations

Yuqian Zhang, Anura De Zoysa, Corinne Cortese

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Uncertainty expressions are used in accounting contexts to describe business information. Due to the widespread use of uncertainty expressions, accounting scholars have critically assessed their potential impacts in financial reporting, as well as in the context of judgement and decision-making behaviour. In line with this topic, this paper outlines several fundamental issues related to uncertainty expressions and grounds these research paradigms and empirical findings in the context of the behavioural-psychology literature. In this study, we propose a solution to reduce potential impacts of uncertainty expressions in accounting. We advocate the Verbal-Numerical (V-N) Scale strategy for the communication of objective accounting information. We also recommend the V-N Disclosure strategy for the communication of subjective accounting information by associating a mathematical strategy. Practical limitations and implications for future accounting research on uncertainty expressions are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)4-22
Number of pages19
JournalAustralasian Accounting, Business and Finance Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Accounting Information
  • Accounting Standards
  • Uncertainty Expressions
  • V-N Disclosure
  • V-N Scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Finance


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