会计理论可以根据会计实践(实证理论)来解释和预测，但在某些情况下需要特定的方法(规范理论)。实证会计理论(PAT)对会计实务有明确的理解、解释和预测。关键的是，可以指出，这种会计做法没有规定任何特定的做法。它的根源在于经济理论，该理论侧重于代理关系的各个方面。会计制度的产出反映了组织的财务业绩。它肯定会给经理们提供一种动力，使公司的价值最大化。因此，可以尝试将管理者的利益与公司的利益进行谈判(Bradshaw, et al.， 2013)。
帕特预测，当企业提供机会时，它们会让管理者的利益与所有者的利益保持一致。共同利益机制有时确实取决于所选择的会计制度。例如，公司的所有者决定按利润的百分比付给经理们。PAT既考虑效率视角，也考虑机会主义视角。通过奖励制度和自愿审计措施，建立了效率机制，以降低未来的代理成本。它指的是会计制度，选择会计制度是为了反映公司的财务业绩。在机会主义的视角下，在实施各种合同协议时需要考虑各种合适的情况(Choi & Meek, 2011)。
Accounting Theories could be explained and predicted according to the accounting practices – Positive Theories, but in certain cases requires particular approaches – Normative Theories. The Positive Accounting Theory (PAT) specifically understands, explains and predicts the accounting practices. Critically, it could be stated that this accounting practice does not prescribe any particular practice. It has its roots in the economic theory which focused on various aspects of agency relationship. The output of the accounting system reveals the financial performance of the organisation. It would definitely provide a motivation to the managers maximising the firm’s value. So, there could be an attempt to negotiate the manager’s interest with that of the firm’s (Bradshaw, et al., 2013).
The PAT takes into account the Agency Theory exploring the agency relationship (Herman, 2011). It dwells into the decision making delegation ranging between the owners and the managers. The Agency problem is also a big factor in this case, where the delegation of authority could lead to the loss of efficiency enhancing the costs at the same time. So the situation calls for monitoring and bonding for the Agency Costs, which is needed for the purpose. The Agency Costs takes into account the factor of monitoring costs, bonding costs, shrinking costs and lastly, residual loss. To be specific, the agency relationship assumes the concept of self-interest and maximisation of wealth. PAT assumes that individual actions are driven by self-interest, where individuals act to exploit the opportunity for the purpose of wealth maximisation.
PAT predicts that organisations put in line the manager’s interest with that of the owners when provided with an opportunity. The mechanism of the mutual interest sometimes does depend on the chosen accounting system. For instance, the owners of the company decide to pay the managers a percentage share of the profits. PAT considers the efficiency perspective as well as the opportunistic perspective. Through the measures of rewarding system and voluntary audits, the efficiency mechanism was put in place to reduce the future agency costs. It refers to the accounting system, which was chosen to reflect the financial performance of the firm. In the opportunistic perspective, various opportune situations are to be considered in putting various contractual agreements in place (Choi & Meek, 2011).
It is to be noted that in absence of an effective control, agents or managers could take certain steps which might prove unsuitable to the firm. In this case, the principals or owners agree to pay the managers a higher salary, keeping aside the consumable perks for the managers. In the accounting scope, this phenomenon is known as bonding (Gassen, 2014). At the same time, PAT tries to reduce the agency costs of the equity price. It could be done by monitoring on the part of the owners, bonding by managers and rewarding the agents on the basis of their performance, or on a fixed remuneration or both. PAT led the path to Creative Accounting, which aligns the creativity with that of the prescribed accounting standards.