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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to discuss and provide an alternative, less materialist–individualist approach to interpret the four assumptions of generally accepted accounting principles: economic entity, unit measure, periodic reporting, and going concern. The article draws from and builds on arguments first developed by Weber and Aristotle to demonstrate how a materialist–individualist moral point of view influences the conventional interpretation of the four basic assumptions for generally accepted accounting principles. We then propose an ideal-type conceptual framework upon which to critique mainstream accounting theory and to develop alternative accounting theory that balances multiple forms of well-being (including financial, but also social, physical, spiritual, and ecological well-being) for multiple stakeholders (including owners, employees, customers, suppliers, competitors, neighbors, future generations, and so forth).