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A ""dismal saga"" of generally accepted accounting procedures (GAAP) in which Briloff unveils such boggling conundrums as ""2 Plus 2 Equals. . . ?""; in which our author visits Alice in GAAP land and finds "" 'fair' versus 'GAAP-fair' is a most invidious distinction""; in which he writes a sardonic chapter entitled ""On Riding Two Horses With One Backside"" followed by ""Quo Vadis?"" wherein he warns that members of the economic community must get off their duffs and meet the GAAP crisis or ""there is little hope for the survival of the corporation as a form of private enterprise."" Briloff's point, elaborately and effectively driven home, is simply that corporations owe society at large and those directly involved in private finance (specifically including shareholders) ""a full measure of visibility and accountability"" -- something he insists they're not getting frequently enough today. The accountant's image as a dunce-chaired Cratchet scribbling in ledger books the size of ambitious billboards might die hard, but Briloff is indicative of a new breed acoming as he totals up GAAP's failings and raps both the stodgy American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the less than assiduous Securities and Exchange Commission for their insouciance. A chapter is also devoted to describing procedural practices which ensure fair and objective financial statements. Those familiar with Briloff's earlier study on the same general theme (Effectiveness of Accounting Communication, 1967) won't do another set of books until they've read this; others with an interest in the red and the black might wisely use Unaccountable Accounting as an introduction to the man who has done for accounting what the Venetians did for double entry bookkeeping.

Pub Date: June 28th, 1972
Publisher: Harper & Row