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Fill the GAAP gap
August, 16th 2007

Indian accounting is getting ready to blend with the global norms by 2011. To professionals preparing to cope with the shift, here is the second edition of The Complete Guide to International Financial Reporting Standards by Ralph Tiffin ( ).

A prime aim of standards is to bring consistency of reporting within and between countries. Investors and others using financial statements (e.g. for investing or benchmarking purposes) can then make decisions based on consistently prepared data, he explains. As never before, professional advisers, directors and executive officers from functions other than finance are affected by the requirements of accounting standards.

If you were ever curious to know whether the chronological or numerical order of accounting standards has any significance, Tiffins opinion is that the order is illogical. In any event it is questionable as to whether academics or practitioners could agree to a logical order, he adds. It may help to remember that the majority of accounting standards were issued in response to an event a significant lapse in proper accounting and disclosure.

To achieve some coherence, the author groups the standards under sections such as: financial statement formats and contents, accounting methods and conventions, disclosure, specialised industries, and so on.

A chapter on creative accounting demonstrates how distortions and abuse can result from the absence of standards.

Fills a gap in your GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) gyan.

Paper life vs real life

You should only have the minimum amount of inventory on hand required for either production or distribution, but be careful not to purchase small quantities over and over again, advises Max Muller in Essentials of Inventory Management ( ). Buying small amounts frequently will lead to an excessive cost of replenishment, the R factor, he reasons.

The book, aimed at the new stockroom/warehouse manager, non-financial inventory control individual, and the small business owner, presents immediately usable information in the areas of forecasting, physical control and layout, problem recognition, and resolution.

A quickly practicable exercise, for instance, is to track an items real life and its paper life within your system. Track an items physical movement through your facility while noting what is happening to its paper life during that same time period. You will be able to discover when one of these lives moves ahead of the other and when there are system errors such as an item is moved but there is no paperwork authorising that action.

Another ready-to-use tip is this guidance for an enthusiastic storekeeper who finds it difficult to convince the finance man that non-productive stock needs to be disposed of: Ask your financial officer how much the company is paying per square foot for rent. Multiplying the square footage being consumed by dead product times the rent per square foot often results in a truly eye-opening dollar amount.

A book to add to your reading stock.

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