Nicolas Praquin (RITM) presented “Prudence and confidence. A French historical perspective on a Janus expression of the business relationship”, at the 8th Accounting Historical International Conference (8AHIC) held on 19-21 August 2015, at the Federation University of Australia, Ballarat (Australia).
The starting point of this article is the IASB, the international accounting standards setter, attempt to remove the accounting principle of prudence in its draft of the revision of the conceptual framework. In France, and more broadly in continental Europe, prudence has always been recognized as a main principle of accounting. In this paper, the author tries to understand, in an historical perspective (18th-20th c.), why prudence has been such an important element of business life and how it cannot be separated from confidence and trust. For this, the author draws a kind of genealogical process through the history of these two (three) inseparable concepts and how they have been enrolled in the history of business relations for a long time.
Keywords : Confidence, trust, prudence, accounting, business practices.