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James D. Stice Earl K. Stice
2014 Cengage Learning
PowerPoint presented by Douglas Cloud
Professor Emeritus of Accounting, Pepperdine University
Chapter 1
Definition of Accounting
Accounting is a service activity. Its
function is to provide quantitative
information, primarily financial in nature,
about economic entities that is intended to
be useful in making economic decisions
in making reasoned choices among
alternative courses of action.
Statement of the Accounting Principles Board No. 4, par. 40.
Accounting information is used in making
decisions about how to allocate scarce
Although accountants place much emphasis
on reporting what has already occurred, this
past information is intended to be useful in
making economic decisions about the future.
Key features in this definition of accounting:
Definition of Accounting
Users of Accounting Information
Stakeholders are all parties interested in the
financial health of a company.
Internal users are stakeholders who make
decisions that directly affect the internal
operations of the enterprise.
External users are stakeholders who make
decisions concerning their relationship to the
Users of Accounting Information
1. Management accounting is concerned
primarily with financial reporting for internal
users, especially management.
2. Financial accounting focuses on the
development and communication of
financial information for external users.
a. Helps users in determining whether a
companys operations are profitable
enough to justify additional funding.
b. Helps users in determining how risky
a companys operations are in order
to determine what rate of return is
necessary to compensate capital
providers for the investment risk.
Users of Accounting Information
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Creditors need
information about the
profitability and
stability of the
company to decide
whether to lend
money to the
company and, if so,
what interest rate to
Investors (both
existing stockholders
and potential
investors) need
concerning the
safety and
profitability of their
External Investors
The balance sheet reports, as of a
certain point in time, the resources
of a company (the assets), the
companys obligations (the
liabilities), and the equity of the
General-Purpose Financial
The income statement reports, for a
certain interval, the net assets
generated through business
operations (revenues), the net assets
consumed (the expenses), and the
difference, which is called net
General-Purpose Financial
The statement of cash flows
reports, for a certain interval, the
amount of cash generated and
consumed by a company through
the following three types of
activities: operating, financing, and
investing activities.
General-Purpose Financial
Accounting estimates and
judgments are outlined in the notes
to financial statements. In
addition, the notes contain
supplemental information as well as
information about items not included
in the financial statements.
General-Purpose Financial
Auditors Role
Auditors, working independently of a
companys management and internal
accountants, examine the financial
They issue an auditors opinion about
the fairness of the statements and their
adherence to proper accounting
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The Financial Accounting Standards
Board (FASB) sets accounting standards
in the United States.
The FASB is a private-sector body and
has no legal authority.
The issuance of new accounting
standards is preceded by a lengthy public
The Emerging Issues Task Force
(EITF) works under the direction of the
The EITF formulates a timely expert
consensus on how to handle new
issues not yet covered in FASB
The Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) was created by the
1933 Securities Act to protect the interests
of investors by ensuring full and fair
It was given specific legal authority to
establish accounting standards for
companies desiring to publicly issue shares
in the United States.
The SEC has generally allowed the
private-sector organizations to make the
accounting standards in the United States
(commonly referred to as generally
accepted accounting principles
The Financial Accounting Standards
Board (FASB) is currently recognized as the
private-sector body responsible for the
establishment of U.S. accounting standards.
The FASB was organized in 1973, replacing
the Accounting Principles Board (APB).
Five full-time members are drawn from a
variety of backgroundsauditing, corporate
accounting, financial services, and academia.
Appointment of new Board members is
done by the Financial Accounting
Foundation (FAF).
The FAF serves somewhat like a board of
directors overseeing the FASB.
The FAF is also responsible for selecting
and supporting members of the
Governmental Accounting Standards
Board (GASB).
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The major functions of the FASB are to
study issues and to establish accounting
These standards are published as
Accounting Standards Updates.
The FASB has also issued Statements of
Financial Accounting Concepts that
provide a framework within which specific
accounting standards can be developed.
FASB Due Process
1. FASB staff assembles background information
and the Board holds public meetings before a
decision is made to even add a project to the
FASBs formal agenda.
2. After more study and further hearings, the
Board often issues a report summarizing its
Preliminary Views.
3. Interested parties are invited to comment either
in writing or orally at a public hearing.
4. After comments from interested parties have
been evaluated, the Board meets as many
times as necessary to resolve the issues.
5. From these meetings, the Board develops an
Exposure Draft of a statement that includes
specific recommendations for financial
accounting and reporting.
6. After 60 days or longer, if the topic is a major
one, all comments are reviewed by the staff and
the Board.
FASB Due Process
7. Further deliberation of the Board leads to either
the issuance of an Accounting Standards
Update, a revised Exposure Draft, or, in some
cases, abandonment of the project.
8. The final statement not only sets forth the actual
standards but also establishes the effective
date and method of transition.
9. Currently, a simple majority (three out of five) is
required for approval of an Exposure Draft or a
final statement of standards.
FASB Due Process
In an effort to overcome the methodical,
sometimes slow, nature of the standard
setting process, in 1984 the FASB
established the Emerging Issues Task
Force (EITF).
The EITF assists the FASB in the early
identification of emerging issues that affect
financial reporting.
Emerging Issue Task Force
The official source of U.S. GAAP is called
the FASB Accounting Standards
Codification (ASC).
Prior to launching of the FASB ASC in J uly
2009, finding a specific accounting rule on a
specific topic involved a primitive hunt-and-
peck strategy.
FASB Accounting Standards
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Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC)
The SEC was created by an act of Congress in
Its primary role is to regulate the issuance and
trading of securities by corporations to the
general public.
It requires companies to furnish various
financial statements, and other periodic
information about significant events.
The SEC requires companies to have their
external financial statements audited by
independent accountants.
In addition to the SECs rules and interpretive
releases, the SEC staff issues Staff
Accounting Bulletins that represent practices
followed by the staff administering SEC
disclosure requirements.
The auditors of SEC-required financial
information must be registered and periodically
inspected by the Public Company
Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).
Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC)
American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants (AICPA)
The American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants (AICPA) is the professional
organization of practicing certified public
accountants (CPAs) in the United States.
It publishes the monthly journal, the Journal
of Accountancy.
The AICPA is responsible for preparing and
grading the Uniform CPA Examination.
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The American Accounting Association
(AAA) is an organization of accounting
It sponsors national and regional meetings
where accounting professors discuss
technical research and share innovative
teaching techniques and materials.
It organizes working committees of
professors to study and comment on
accounting standards issues.
American Accounting Association
One of the most significant actions of the
AAA is to motivate and facilitate
curriculum revision to keep pace with the
changes in the accounting profession.
The AAA publishes a number of academic
journals, including The Accounting
Review and Accounting Horizons.
American Accounting Association
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has
the primary goal of equitably collecting
Although not the same, there are many
areas where tax and financial accounting
are closely related.
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What is GAAP?
Historically, the Auditing Standards Board
of the AICPA has defined Generally
Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
in the context of a phrase included in the
standard auditors opinion:
present fairlyin conformity with generally
accepted accounting principles.
International Accounting
Standards Board
The international nature of business requires
companies to be able to make their financial
statements understandable to users all over
the world.
In an attempt to harmonize conflicting
standards, the International Accounting
Standards Board (IASB) was formed in
1973 to develop worldwide accounting
Accounting standards issued by the IASB are
referred to as International Financial
Reporting Standards (IFRS) if issued since
2001, and International Accounting
Standards (IAS) if issued prior to 2001.
In 2008 the SEC began allowing non-U.S.
companies with shares trading on U.S. stock
exchanges to issue their financial reports using
IASB standards.
International Accounting
Standards Board
The SEC is considering whether to allow
U.S. companies to use IASB standards,
rather than FASB standards, in the financial
reports that they provide to their U.S.
If this happens, the FASB may cease to
The SEC work plan does not envision a
U.S. switch to IFRS until 2015 at the earliest.
International Accounting
Standards Board
Conceptual Framework
A strong theoretical foundation is essential if
accounting practice is to keep pace with a
changing business environment.
The conceptual framework plays a vital role
in the development of new standards and in
the revision of previously issued standards.
The conceptual framework provides a guide
for analyzing and resolving emerging issues.
In February 2000, the FASB issued the last of
seven Statements of Financial Accounting
Concepts, which provide the basis for the
conceptual framework.
1) Objectives of Financial Reporting by
Business Enterprises
2) Qualitative Characteristics of Accounting
3) Elements of Financial Statements of
Business Enterprises
Concepts Statements
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4) Objectives of Financial Reporting by
Nonbusiness Organizations
5) Recognition and Measurement in Financial
Statements of Business Enterprises
6) Elements of Financial Statements (a
replacement of No. 3, broadened to
include not-for-profit as well as business
Concepts Statements
7) Using Cash Flow Information and Present
Value in Accounting
Concepts Statements
The seven Concepts Statements addressed
four major areas:
Concepts Statements
1. Objectives: What are the purposes of
financial reporting?
2. Qualitative characteristics: What are the
qualities of useful financial information?
3. Elements: What is an asset? a liability? a
revenue? an expense?
Conceptual Framework
4. Recognition, measurement, and
reporting: How should the objectives,
qualities, and elements of definitions be
Recognition, Measurement,
and Reporting
RecognitionBoiling down all the
estimates and judgments into one
number and using that number to make a
journal entry.
DisclosureSkipping the journal entry
and just relying on the note to convey the
information to users.
Recognition CriteriaFor an item to be
formally recognized, it must meet one of the
definitions of the elements of the financial
For example, a receivable must meet the
definition of an asset to be recorded and
reported on the balance sheet.
Disclosure is preferable to recognition in
situations in which relevant information cannot
be reliably measured.
Recognition, Measurement,
and Reporting
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1. Historical cost
2. Current replacement cost
3. Fair value
4. Net realizable value
5. Present (or discounted) value
Five different measurement attributes are
currently used in practice.
Recognition, Measurement,
and Reporting
ReportingIncluded in the recommended
set of general-purpose financial statements
are reports that show the following:
Financial position at the end of the period
Recognition, Measurement,
and Reporting
Financial position at the end of the period
Earnings (net income) for the period
ReportingIncluded in the recommended
set of general-purpose financial statements
are reports that show the following:
Recognition, Measurement,
and Reporting
Financial position at the end of the period
Earnings (net income) for the period
Cash flows during the period
ReportingIncluded in the recommended
set of general-purpose financial statements
are reports that show the following:
Statement of
cash flows
Recognition, Measurement,
and Reporting
Financial position at the end of the period
Earnings (net income) for the period
Cash flows during the period
Investments by and distributions to
owners during the period
ReportingIncluded in the recommended
set of general-purpose financial statements
are reports that show the following:
Statement of
changes in
owners equity
Recognition, Measurement,
and Reporting
Financial position at the end of the period
Earnings (net income) for the period
Cash flows during the period
Investments by and distributions to
owners during the period
Comprehensive income (total non-owner
changes in equity) for the period
ReportingIncluded in the recommended
set of general-purpose financial statements
are reports that show the following:
Recognition, Measurement,
and Reporting
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Comprehensive income differs from
earnings in that it includes unrealized
gains and losses not recognized in
the income statement.
In 1998, the FASB required
companies to provide, in at least one
place, information relating to
unrealized gains and losses.
Recognition, Measurement,
and Reporting
Traditional Assumptions of
the Accounting Model
1. Economic entity
2. Going concern
3. Arms-length transactions
4. Stable monetary unit
5. Accounting period
The FASB conceptual framework is
influenced by five basic assumptions:
Impact of the Conceptual Framework
The conceptual framework provides a
basis for consistent judgments by all
those involved in financial reporting.
Related to the conceptual framework is
the push toward more principles-based
accounting standards.
Rules vs. Principles
In J uly 2003, the SEC submitted a report to
Congress recommending that the FASB move
toward objectives-oriented standards which
would have the following characteristics:
Be based on an improved and consistently
applied framework
Clearly state the accounting objective of the
Rules vs. Principles
Provide sufficient detail and structure so that the
standard can be operationalized and applied on
a consistent basis
Minimize exceptions from the standard
Avoid use of percentage tests that allow
financial engineers to achieve technical
compliance with the standard while evading the
intent of the standard
Pubic accountants do not work for a
single business enterprise. Rather, they
provide a variety of services for many
different individuals and business clients.
The four largest firms are Deloitte &
Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and
Careers in Financial Accounting
t t d t k f
Public Accounting
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A large business enterprise employs
financial accountants who are primarily
concerned with external financial
reporting, management accountants who
are primarily concerned with internal
financial reporting, and tax accountants.
Corporate Accounting
Careers in Financial Accounting
Credit analysts, investment bankers,
brokers, and business consultants need
a strong working knowledge of
accounting as well as strong skills in
information technology.
User (Analyst, Banker, Consultant)
Careers in Financial Accounting
The Importance of
Personal Ethics
The flexibility inherent in the assumptions
underlying the preparation of financial
statements means that an accountant
can intentionally deceive financial
statement users and still be in
compliance with GAAP.
Our financial reporting system is of
limited value if the accountants who
operate the system do not have strong
personal ethics.
Chapter 1
The End

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