Accounting Standard


DEFINITION of 'Accounting Standard'

A principle that guides and standardizes accounting practices. The Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are a group of accounting standards that are widely accepted as appropriate to the field of accounting. Accounting standards are necessary so that financial statements are meaningful across a wide variety of businesses; otherwise, the accounting rules of different companies would make comparative analysis almost impossible.


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BREAKING DOWN 'Accounting Standard'

An accounting standard is a guideline for financial accounting, such as how a firm prepares and presents its business income and expense, assets and liabilities. The Generally Accepted Accounting Principles is comprised of a large group of individual accounting standards. GAAP standards apply to financial reporting in the United States and may be eventually phased out in favor of the International Accounting Standards.

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  1. Where can I find the balance sheet of a country?

    As of 2014 the balance sheets of many countries are available from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between IAS and GAAP?

    To answer this question, we must first define what IAS and GAAP are, in order to get a better grasp of the function they ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is a profit and loss (P&L) statement and why do companies publish them?

    A profit and loss (P&L) statement, or balance sheet, is essentially a snapshot of a company's financial activity for ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do dividends affect the balance sheet?

    Dividends paid in cash affect a company's balance sheet by decreasing the company's cash account on the asset side and decreasing ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Who actually declares a dividend?

    It is a company's board of directors who actually declares a dividend. The declaration date is the first of four important ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Are dividends considered an expense?

    Cash or stock dividends distributed to shareholders are not considered an expense on a company's income statement. Stock ... Read Full Answer >>

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