Volume 16, Nos. 1 & 2

 

Accounting Issues:  2006 In Review, 2007 In Preview  There's an old saying in accounting circles: "Accounting is the language of business and investing." It's not just self-elevating twaddle. It's true - and if you don't think so, take a look at the pile of comment letters received by the FASB and the SEC every time they propose something that hones the information within financial statements. If an issue is important enough to make the standard-setters' docket, investors should want to know about it. Additions to FASB's agenda mean there are problems in current reporting; it means that the "language of business" needs to be fixed. Another reason for investors to take an interest: as proposed accounting standards become accounting law, corporate behavior often changes. New accounting standards often provide better measurement of some corporate activity - whether they're income taxes, stock options, health care benefits or pensions, to name a few. And once an activity is measured, or measured better than before, it starts to be managed differently. Understanding new accounting standards can t want to know what companies will do to avoid speaking "the language of business" more clearly? Then ignore the activities of the FASB.

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