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.
CUT-OFF RATE is the predetermined maximum rate and/or minimum rate at which the subject is still acceptable, but where a rate above the proscribed higher or below the proscribed lower rate is no longer acceptable.
ACCOUNTING DATA is all the information and data contained in journals, ledgers and other records that support financial statements, e.g. spreadsheets. It may be in computer readable form or on paper.
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