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Accounting standards are an essential element in the regulation of current financial reporting. Standard setters promulgate standards, and companies and professional accountants follow them, in preparing financial reports. Although much has been written about the history of standard setting, the conceptual underpinnings of accounting standards, the process of setting them, and the question of whether such standards should be 'rules-based' or 'principles-based' has been ignored until now. This book examines the very idea of a 'rule,' of implementation guidance, and of the objectives of the standards that are included in such guidance. The Nature of Accounting Regulation enables the reader to grasp the reasons behind standards, the role of the conceptual framework in setting standards in an institutional context, and the types of rules that are useful in regulating financial reporting, offering insight into the nature of 'good' accounting regulation.