MATERIALS are physical goods (and their cost) used in the manufacture of a product, often separated into DIRECT MATERIAL (that which goes directly into the product such as cream into ice cream, or steel into cars) and INDIRECT MATERIAL (that which is used in maintaining the manufacturing environment such as cleaning fluids or oil for lubrication of manufacturing equipment). Indirect materials are usually part of the overhead component of cost. The term material, when used without the direct or indirect qualifier, usually refers to direct materials.
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.
ABNORMAL GAIN see NORMAL LOSS.
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