Research on Accounting in Family Firms: Past Accomplishments and Future Challenges

Accounting practices in family firms, although displaying evident unique features, have received relatively little attention as distinct from their equivalents in publicly held firms. This may have hampered conceptual advancements in both the accounting and the family business literatures. In this article the authors first assess accounting areas in which the “family entity” plays a distinct role and elaborate on important characteristics of these phenomena. They also report evidence suggesting that additional research efforts may illuminate both unresolved issues in the accounting literature and so-far-neglected dimensions of the family business entity. Finally, the authors examine several different avenues for research at the accounting–family business interface and identify common themes among them.