Creative Accounting

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Creative Accounting '

Accounting practices that follow required laws and regulations, but deviate from what those standards intend to accomplish. Creative accounting capitalizes on loopholes in the accounting standards to falsely portray a better image of the company. Although creative accounting practices are legal, the loopholes they exploit are often reformed to prevent such behaviors.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Creative Accounting '

A primary benefit of public accounting statements is that they allow investors to compare the financial health of competing companies. However, when firms indulge in creative accounting they often distort the value of the information that their financials provide. Creative accounting can be used to manage earnings and to keep debt off the balance sheet.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Enron

    A U.S. energy-trading and utilities company that housed one of ...
  2. Balance Sheet

    A financial statement that summarizes a company's assets, liabilities ...
  3. Andersen Effect

    A reference to auditors performing more careful due diligence ...
  4. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ...

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures ...
  5. Certified Public Accountant - CPA

    A designation given by the American Institute of Certified Public ...
  6. Capital Expenditure (CAPEX)

    Funds used by a company to acquire or upgrade physical assets ...
Related Articles
  1. Fundamental Analysis

    Spotting Creative Accounting On The Balance Sheet

    Companies have ways of manipulating their balance sheets that investors should be aware of.
  2. Active Trading

    Creative Accounting: When It's Too Good To Be True

    Accounting practices have matured, but there are still plenty of ways that companies can disguise their financial results.
  3. Options & Futures

    Core Earnings Strip Away "Creative" Accounting

    This metric is an attempt to counteract creative accounting, but it poses its own set of challenges.
  4. Investing

    What's a Run Rate?

    Run rate is a term used to denote annualized earnings extrapolated from a shorter time frame. Management uses the run rate to estimate future revenues.
  5. Professionals

    Financial Accounting

    Financial accounting is the process of gathering, recording, summarizing and reporting financial data relating to a business. The ultimate goal is to accurately report the financial picture and ...
  6. Investing

    What are Direct Costs?

    Direct costs for finished goods refer to the items and services directly used in production. Other costs such as rent and insurance for the production site are indirect costs. These costs may ...
  7. Investing

    What is Contingent Liability?

    A contingent liability is an amount that might have to be paid in the future, but there are still unresolved matters that make it only a possibility. Lawsuits and the threat of lawsuits are the ...
  8. Investing

    What's Accrued Interest?

    Accrued interest has two meanings. In accounting, it is interest that has been earned, but the time for payment has not yet occurred.
  9. Investing

    What is Absorption Costing?

    Absorption costing is an accounting method primarily used in manufacturing. In absorption costing, the cost of a manufactured product includes the direct costs plus an apportioned share of the ...
  10. Economics

    What Must The UK Do To Keep North Sea Oil Afloat?

    The UK government may need to take drastic action to ensure the viability of UK North Sea offshore oil production amid high costs and shrinking margins.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Price-To-Sales Ratio - PSR

    A valuation ratio that compares a company’s stock price to its revenues. The price-to-sales ratio is an indicator of the ...
  2. Hurdle Rate

    The minimum rate of return on a project or investment required by a manager or investor. In order to compensate for risk, ...
  3. Market Value

    The price an asset would fetch in the marketplace. Market value is also commonly used to refer to the market capitalization ...
  4. Preference Shares

    Company stock with dividends that are paid to shareholders before common stock dividends are paid out. In the event of a ...
  5. Accrued Interest

    1. A term used to describe an accrual accounting method when interest that is either payable or receivable has been recognized, ...
  6. Absorption Costing

    A managerial accounting cost method of expensing all costs associated with manufacturing a particular product. Absorption ...
Trading Center