Accounting Standard

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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.

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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