By William H. Webster, CPA

ISBN-10: 0071436472

ISBN-13: 9780071436472

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The accountant places a pea under one of three walnut shells. He then moves the three shells swiftly over the felt tabletop while saying a bunch of magic words like “financial ratios transfer to the balance sheet while the equity pie becomes an expense to third parties,” claps his hands, and steps back with a smile. You gingerly lift shell after shell to discover that 1) the pea is not where you thought it was, 2) the pea has magically become two peas, or 3) the pea has disappeared entirely. This discussion of GAAP shows that there are reasons for the apparent contradictions and inconsistencies.

Managers, in conjunction with owners, develop plans and set goals. Those goals include making a profit. The owners and managers may also decide they want to sell a quality product at a high profit, donate a percentage of profits, and/or research new technology. As the business operates, revenue comes in from the sale of goods. The goods cost money, so some profits go to buy more goods and the equipment to run the business. Profits also pay the managers for their effort and reward the owners for the risk they took.

What are the ethical values of the company? Is there a code of conduct? Do incentive and compensation programs support ethical behavior? • Do the audit committee and board of directors oversee accounting policies and practices? • What is the philosophy of management and operating style? Is there a constructive attitude toward financial reporting? Is there a responsible approach to risk? • Is the assignment of authority and responsibility appropriately managed? How Many Can • Does the company You Spot?

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