STABLE UNIT OF MEASURE, in accounting, assumes that money is used as the basic measuring unit for financial reporting. Money is the common denominator in which accounting measurements are made and summarized. The dollar, or any other monetary unit, represents a unit of value; that is, it reflects an ability to command goods and services. Implicit in the use of money as a measuring unit is the assumption that the dollar is a stable unit of value, just as the kilometer is a stable unit of distance and the hectare is a stable unit of area.
KEEP-WELL AGREEMENTS, also known as comfort letters, are documents from one party written to another party in regards to contingent liability. Comfort letters have been held by courts to be legally enforceable commitments if they meet certain standards criteria of language. Comfort letters meeting these standards are loss contingencies in that they are construed to guarantee a financial commitment and must be reported under Statement of Financial Accounting Standard 5 as a guarantee. Auditors should review the language of all comfort letters and seek to discover contingent liabilities not disclosed in financial statements in situations where comfort letters exist. Sources of information concerning the contingent liabilities of comfort letters include: management and third parties. Auditors should document within the client representations letter management assurances that loss contingencies have been reported.
PROPRIETARY ASSET, usually, is any asset that is considered in the realm of intellectual property that should not be disclosed, e.g., all information having to do with clients/customers, including but not limited to names, addresses, telephone numbers and other contact information, as well as any other personal or business related information, as it may exist from time to time is a valuable, and unique proprietary asset to a company. Proprietary assets would also include trade secrets and undisclosed inventions.
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