SUBSTANCE OVER FORM Definition

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SUBSTANCE OVER FORM is an accounting concept where the entity is accounting for items according to their substance and economic reality and not merely their legal form. This concept is one of the key determinants of reliable information. For most transactions there will be no difference, so no issue arises. In some cases however, the two diverge and the choice of how to present the transactions can give very different results. This difference occurs when an asset or liability is not recognized in the accounts even though benefits or obligations may result from the transaction, or oppositely.

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LAPPING is a scheme to cover an embezzlement by using payments made by one customer to reduce the receivables balance of another customer.

DOUBLE ACCOUNTING is the un-intentional, or sometimes fraudulently intentional, double counting of assets or liabilities, or any other datasets, which, in the end, give an inaccurate view of what the data really means. In accounting, this is usually caused by a multiplicity of entries of the same data which, in the end, causes confusion or financial reporting inaccuracies.

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