In the current rush towards globalization and convergence, the influence of culture on accounting has been increasingly recognized as an important and controversial topic. However, quantified and narrowly focused approaches such as Gray’s (1988) framework of accounting values have largely dominated cross-cultural accounting research and education without a critical evaluation of their theoretical and methodological limitations. As such, the objective of this paper is to provide evidence that Gray’s (1988) framework and hypotheses are too simplistic to provide valuable insights into the development and structure of national accounting models. Using Germany as a case study, we critically examine Gray’s (1988) accounting values and particularly the secrecy hypothesis, to demonstrate that this framework largely fails to describe Germany’s accounting model. We recommend that accounting research will be enhanced by a critical examination of political, legal, social and historical environments of countries rather that a focus on measurement, quantification, simplification and categorization.