In Zeff (2008, 197–200), I showed how the pioneering chapter on “Different Costs for Different Purposes” in John Maurice Clark's Studies in the Economics of Overhead Costs (1923) influenced William J. Vatter, at The University of Chicago, and, through Vatter, Charles T. Horngren in his transformative textbook, Cost Accounting: A Managerial Emphasis (1962).

Clark's influence can also be seen in the writings of George J. Staubus and George H. Sorter, both of whom, like Horngren, were doctoral students under Vatter at Chicago. Staubus is known as the first major advocate of “decision-usefulness” as the focus, or objective, of external financial reporting, and Sorter is known for his “events” theory approach to financial reporting. Hence, Clark's intellectual influence, via Vatter, was not limited to management accounting.

The common thread between Staubus and Sorter was their belief that no single valuation model or “value school” (historical cost, entry price, exit price, or...

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