19 Accounting and financial reporting standards

‘There are no accounting issues, no trading issues, no reserve issues, no previously unknown problem issues.’

Kenneth Lay, former chairman, Enron LLC

In a nutshell

Accounting standards, also known as financial reporting standards, are rules and guidelines that set out how transactions should be recorded and presented in financial statements. ‘Standard’ means the expected or preferred way of accounting.

To interpret or compare company performance requires an understanding of the accounting treatments used in preparing financial statements. The accounting policy note included in financial statements typically summarises the accounting standards applied by a company in preparing its financial statements. ...

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