Accounting

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Early 19th-century ledger.

Accounting, or accountancy, is the measurement, processing and communication of financial information about economic entities.

Quotes[edit]

  • Accounting for the most part, remains a legalistic and traditional practice, almost immune to self-criticism by scientific methods.
    • Kenneth Boulding (1958, p. 95) as cited in: Edward Stamp, Michael J. Mumford, Ken V. Peasnell (1993) Philosophical Perspectives on Accounting. p. 147.
  • Over the years, Charlie [Munger, Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman] and I have observed many accounting-based frauds of staggering size. Few of the perpetrators have been punished; many have not even been censured. It has been far safer to steal large sums with pen than small sums with a gun.
  • The swift victory of the railway over the waterway resulted from organizational as well as technological innovation. Technology made possible fast, all-weather transportation; but safe, regular, reliable movement of goods and passengers, as well as the continuing maintenance and repair of locomotives, rolling stock, and track, roadbed, stations, roundhouses and other equipment, required the creation of a sizable administrative organization. It meant the employment of an administrative command of middle and top executives to monitor, evaluate, and coordinate the work of managers responsible for the day-to-day operations. It meant, too, the formulation of brand new types of internal administrative procedures and accounting and statistical controls. Hence, the operational requirements of the railroads demanded the creation of the first administrative hierarchies in American business.
  • The accounts of money, supplies and provisions should then be considered. The overseer should report what wine and oil has been sold, what price he got, what is on hand, and what remains for sale. Security should be taken for such accounts as ought to be secured. All other unsettled matters should be agreed upon. If any thing is needed for the coming year, it should be bought; every thing which is not needed should be sold. Whatever there is for lease should be leased.
  • Accounting reveals the state of the business. It is a kind of thermometer of its condition and its health. One must consult it continually. Every employee in the enterprise, from the lowest up to the Director, must know the results for that part of the service for which he is responsible.
  • The problem is not that this optimistic view is wrong. By economic accounting, the optimistic view is mostly right.
    • Didier Sornette Why Stock Markets Crash - Critical Events in Complex Systems (2003) Ch. 10, 2050: The End Of The Growth Era?, p. 390.
  • There are only two things as complicated as insurance accounting and I have no idea what they are.
    • Andrew Tobias Chapter 2, By Popular Demand: A very Short Chapter On Insurance Accounting, p. 26.

External links[edit]

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