In This Chapter
Realizing there’s more than one way home
Examining the effects of alternative accounting methods on profit and balance sheet
Taking a closer look at cost of goods sold and depreciation expenses
Scanning the revenue and expense horizon
This chapter explains that when recording revenue, expenses, and other transactions of a business, the accountant generally must choose among different methods for capturing the economic reality of the transactions. You might think that accountants are in unified agreement on the exact ways for recording business transactions, but this isn’t the case. An old joke is that when two economists get together there are three economic opinions. It’s not that different in accounting.
The financial statements reported by a business are just one version of its financial history and performance. A different accountant for the business undoubtedly would have presented a different version. The income statement and balance sheet of a business depend on which particular accounting methods the accountant chooses. Moreover, ...