ABSTRACT: Mattessich (2009) is a response to a previous discussion on the ontology and epistemology of social reality in accounting by Lee (2006a, 2006b), Macintosh (2006), and Williams (2006). The original discussion was motivated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) (2002a) commitment to introduce principles‐based accounting standards (PBAS) based on its conceptual framework (CF). Lee (2006a, 2006b) argues that PBAS requires the FASB to recognize social reality in its CF. While agreeing with this argument generally, Mattessich (2009) states that, compared to the social reality construction model (SRCM) of Searle (1995) adopted by Lee (2006a), the onion model of reality (OMR) is more relevant to standard setters such as the FASB when they consider social reality in accounting. The purpose of this response to Mattessich (2009) is to contrast the SRCM and the OMR in the context of accounting for social reality, the FASB's ongoing revision of its CF, and recent accounting events in the global financial crisis. The overall conclusions are that the SRCM and the OMR are capable of introducing social reality to accounting thought; the SRCM has features that are particularly useful in emphasizing the subjective nature of the subject matter of accounting practice; the FASB continues to ignore social reality in its CF; and recent accounting events support arguments such as Lee (2006a, 2006b) and Mattessich (2009) that the FASB and other standard setters address social reality in their CF and PBAS. However, for social reality to be successfully incorporated into accounting thought, the ontology and epistemology of reality generally need to be part of the accounting curriculum.

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