MARGINAL COST is a calculation showing the change in total cost as a result of a change in volume, e.g. if one more item of output increases the total cost by $25, the marginal cost is $25. It is usually useful to determine marginal cost because it can aid in determining if the rate of production should be altered.
COMPLETENESS deals with whether all transactions and accounts that should be in the financial statements are included. For example, management asserts that all purchases of goods and services are included in the financial statements. Similarly, management asserts that notes payable in the balance sheet include all such obligations of the entity.
PRINCIPLES-BASED ACCOUNTING provides for few exact rules and little implementation guidance. Instead, general principles are put forward and companies must ensure that their financial statements fairly and accurately represent these principles. Proponents argue that this type of system does not allow for less than ethical financial engineering, where complex transactions are undertaken in order to get around following specific rules-based accounting standards. Critics believe a principles-based system allows too much leeway for companies, because they generally do not have to follow specific rules, only wide-arching principles. See also RULES-BASED ACCOUNTING.
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