Accounting Principles: Financial Reporting Standards

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Case 1-4 Generally Accepted Accounting Principles At the completion of the Darby Department Store audit, the president asks about the meaning of the phrase “in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles,” which appears in your audit report on the management’s financial statements. He observes that the meaning of the phrase must include more than what he thinks of as “principles.” Required: a. Explain the meaning of the term accounting principles as used in the audit report. (Do not in this part discuss the significance of “generally accepted.”) b. The president wants to know how you determine whether or not an accounting principle is generally accepted. Discuss the sources of evidence for determining whether an accounting principle has substantial authoritative support. Do not merely list the titles of publications. c. The president believes that diversity in accounting practice will always exist among independent entities despite continual improvements in comparability. Discuss the arguments that support his belief.

1. The term "accounting principles" in the auditor's report includes not only accounting principles but also practices and the methods of applying them. Though the term quite naturally emphasizes the primary or fundamental character of some principles, it includes general rules adopted or professed as guides to action in practice. The term does not connote, however, rules from which there can be no deviation. In some cases, the question is which of several partially relevant principles has determining applicability. Neither is the term "accounting principles" necessarily synonymous with accounting theory. Accounting theory is the broad area of inquiry devoted to the definition of objectives to be served by accounting, the development and elaboration of relevant concepts, the promotion of

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