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.
OPPORTUNISM is a condition of self-interest seeking with guile whereby one party has information that the other party does not.
AUDIT TRAIL is a step-by-step record by which financial, business, and quality assurance data can be traced to its source. For example: checking the validity of an accounting entry through the step-by-step record by which accounting data can be traced to their source.
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