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General definition of accounting
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General definition of accounting
The basis for the accounting process
A balance sheet
An income statement
The importance of the above two statements
General definition of accounting
Today, it is impossible to manage a business operation without accurate and timely accounting information. Managers and employees, lenders, suppliers, stockholders, and government agencies all rely on the information contained on two financial statements. These two reports – the balance sheet and the income statement – are summaries of a firm’s activities during a specific time period. They represent the results of perhaps tens of thousands of transactions that have occurred during the accounting period.
Accounting is the process of systematically collecting, analyzing, and reporting financial information. The basic product that an accounting firm sells is information needed for the clients.
Many people confuse accounting with bookkeeping. Bookkeeping is a necessary part of accounting. Bookkeepers are responsible for recording (or keeping) the financial documents that the accounting system processes.
The primary users of accounting information are managers. The firm’s accounting system provides the information dealing with revenues, costs, accounts receivables, amounts borrowed and owed, profits, return on investment, and the like. This information can be compiled for the entire firm; for each product; for each sales territory, store or individual salesperson; for each division or department; and generally in any way that will help those who manage the organization. Accounting information helps managers plan and set goals, organize motivate, and control. Lenders and suppliers need this accounting information to evaluate credit risks. Stockholders and potential investors need the information to evaluate soundness of investments, and government agencies need it to confirm tax liabilities, confirm payroll deductions, and improve new issues of stocks and bonds. The firm’s accounting system must be able to provide all this information, in the required form.
The basis for the accounting process
The basis for the accounting process is the accounting equation. It shows the relationship among the firm’s assets, liabilities and owner’s equity.
Assets are the items of value that a firm owns – cash, inventories, land, equipment, buildings, patents, and the like.
Liabilities are the firm’s debts and obligations – what it owes to others.
Owner’s equity is the difference between a firm’s assets and its liabilities – what would be left over for the firm’s owners if its assets were used to pay off its liabilities.
The relationship among these three terms is the following:
Owner’s equity = assets – liabilities
(The owner’s equity is equal to the assets minus the liabilities)
For a sole proprietorship or partnership, the owner’s equity is shown as the difference between assets and liabilities. In a partnership, each partner’s share of the ownership is reported separately by each owner’s name. For a corporation, the owner’s equity is usually referred to as stockholders’ equity or shareholders’ equity. It is shown as the total value of its stock, plus retained earnings that have accumulated to date.
By moving the above three terms algebraically, we obtain the standard form of the accounting equation.
Assets = liabilities + owners’ equity
(The assets are equal to the liabilities plus the owners’ equity)
A balance sheet
A balance sheet (or statement of financial position), is a summary of a firm’s assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity accounts at a particular time, showing the various money amounts that enter into the accounting equation. The balance sheet must demonstrate that the accounting equation does indeed balance. That is, it must show that the firm’s assets are equal to its liabilities plus its owners’ equity. The balance sheet is prepared at least once a year. Most firms also have balance sheets prepared semiannually, quarterly, or monthly.
An income statement
An income statement is a summary of a firm’s revenues and expenses during a specified accounting period. The income statement is sometimes called the statement of income and expenses. It may be prepared monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually. An income statement covering the previous year must be included in a corporation’s annual report to its stockholders
The information contained in these two financial statements becomes more important when it is compared with corresponding information for previous years, for competitors, and for the industry in which the firm operates. A number of financial ratios can also be computed from this information. These ratios provide a picture of the firm’s profitability, its short-term financial position, its activity in the area of accounts receivables and inventory, and its long-term debt financing. Like the information on the firm’s financial statements, the ratios can and should be compared with those of past accounting periods, those of competitors, and those representing the average of industry as a whole.
Answer the questions:
TEXT 1. THE BALANCE SHEET
Financial statements are the final product of the accounting process. They provide information on the financial condition of a company. The balance sheet, one type of financial statement, provides a summary of what a company owns and what it owes on one particular day.
Assets represent everything of value that is owned by a business, such as property, equipment and accounts receivable. On the other hand, liabilities are the debts owed by a company – for example, to suppliers and banks. If liabilities are subtracted from assets (assets – liabilities), the amount remaining is the owners’ share of a business. This is known as owners’ or stockholders’ equity.
One key to understanding the accounting transactions of a business is to understand the relationship of its assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity. This is often represented by the fundamental accounting equation: assets equal liabilities plus owner’s equity.
Assets + Liabilities + Owners’ Equity
These three factors are expressed in monetary terms and therefore are limited to items that can be given a monetary value. The accounting equation always remains in balance; in other words, one side must equal the other.
The balance sheet expands the accounting equation by providing more information about the assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity of a company at a specific time (for example, on December 31, 2005). It is made up of two parts. The first part lists the company assets, and the second part details liabilities and owners’ equity. Assets are divided into current and fixed assets. Cash, accounts receivable, and inventories are all current assets. Property, buildings, and equipment make up the fixed assets of a company. The liabilities section of the balance sheet is often divided into current liabilities (such as accounts payable and income tax payable) and long-term liabilities (such as bonds and long-term notes).
The balance sheet provides a financial picture of a company on a particular date, and for this reason it is useful in two important areas. Internally, the balance sheet provides managers with financial information for company decision-making. Externally, it gives potential investors data for evaluation of the company’s financial position.
Notes to the text:
Text 2. WHAT IS ACCOUNTING?
Accounting has been called “the language of business”. Perhaps a better term is “the language of financial decisions”. The better you understand the language, the better you can manage the financial aspects of living. Personal financing planning, investments, loans, car payments, income taxes, and many other aspects of daily life are based on accounting. A recent survey indicates that business managers believe it is more important for college students to learn accounting than any other subject. Other surveys show that persons trained in accounting and finance make it to the top of their organizations in greater numbers than persons trained in any other field. Indeed, accounting is an important subject.
Accounting is the system that measures business activities, processes that information into reports and communicates these findings to decision makers. Financial statements are the documents that report on an individual’s or an organization’s business in monetary amounts.
Is our business making a profit? Should we start up a new line of women’s clothing? Are sales strong enough to warrant opening a new branch outlet? The most intelligent answers to business questions like these use accounting information. Decision makers use the information to develop sound business plans. As new programs affect the business’s activities, accounting takes the company’s financial pulse beat. The cycle continues as the accounting system measures the results of activities and reports the results to decision makers.
Bookkeeping is a procedural element of accounting as arithmetic is a procedural element of mathematics. Increasingly, people are using computers to do much of the detailed bookkeeping work at all levels – in households, business, and organizations of all types.
Ответьте на следующие вопросы к тексту:
Why do they use it?
Read the text and answer the following questions:
How old is accounting?
Accounting has a long history. Some scholars claim that writing arose in order to record accounting information. Account records date back to the ancient civilizations of China, Babylonia, Greece, and Egypt. The rulers of these civilizations used accounting to keep track of the cost of labour and materials used in building structures like the great pyramids.
Accounting developed further as a result of the information needs of merchants in the city-states of Italy during the 1440s. In that commercial climate the monk Luca Pacioli, a mathematician and friend of Leonardo da Vinci, published the first known description of double-entry book-keeping in 1494.
The double-entry accounting system - in which for every "debet dare" there is a "debet habere" - has evolved to the point where it is very much like the present day system. Debet dare and debet habere are Latin terms meaning "should give" and "should have" respectively.
The pace of accounting development increased during the Industrial Revolution as the economies of developed countries began to mass-produce goods and increased competition required merchants to adopt more sophisticated accounting systems.
In the 19th century, the growth of corporations, especially those in the railroad and steel industries, spurred the development of accounting. Corporation owners -the stockholders- were no longer the managers of their business. Managers had to create accounting systems to report to the owners how well their businesses were doing.
The role of government has led to still more accounting development. When the federal government started the income tax, accounting supplied the concept of "income". Also, government at all levels has expanded its role in health, education, labour, and economic planning and it required strict accountability and compliance with standards in the business community.
Since the mid—20lh century bookkeeping as an essential part of all accounting systems has been carried out by machines. The introduction of computers broadened the scope of bookkeeping and the term "data processing" now often associates with bookkeeping.
Exercise. Complete the following sentences according to the text.
Some scholars assume that writing appeared because it was necessary ...
In 1440s they were ... who developed accounting further as a result of
The first known description of double-entry book-keeping was made by ... in
Debit and credit today were originated from Latin words ... which mean ...
More sophisticated accounting systems appeared during ... when developed
In the 19th century managers had to develop accounting systems ...
Strict accountability and many accounting terms, such as "income", for
Since the mid- 20th century bookkeeping... and the introduction of computers...
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Text 5. Accounting
Accounting shows a financial picture of the firm. An accounting department records and measures the activity of a business. It report on the effects of the transactions on the firm financial condition. Accounting records gives a very important data. It is used by management, stockholders, creditors, independent analysts, bank and governments.
One major tool for the analysis of accounting records is ratio analysis. A ratio analysis is the relationship of two figures. In finance we operate with three main categories of ratios. One ratio deals with profitability, for example, the return on Investment Ratio. It is used as a measure of a firms operating efficiency.
Notes to the text
Bookkeepers first record all the appropriate figures – in the books of original entry, or Journals. At the end of a period usually a month – the totals of each book of original entry are posted into the proper page of the Ledger. The Ledger shows all the expenditures and all the totals of each account in the Ledger. The bookkeeper prepares a Trial Balance. Trial Balances are usually drawn up every quarter.
The accountant is to determine the ways in which the business may grow in the future. No expansion or reorganization is planned without the help of the accountant. New products and advertising campaigns are also prepared with the help of the accountant. The work of accountants is rather sophisticated after they pass examinations in Institute of Accountants. Certified accountants in England are called chartered accountants. In the USA the certified accountants are called certified public accountants. But it is not necessary to have a certificate to practice accounting. Junior employees in large companies, for example, often practice accounting and then take examinations. The chief accounting officer of a large company is the Controller, or Comptroller.
Controllers are responsible for measuring the company’s performance. They interpret the results of the operations, plan and recommend future action. This position is very close to the top executives of the company.
Notes to the text:
Book бухгалтерская книга
Ledger главная книга
Credits debits double-entry
Journals ledger posted
Transferred trial balance
Bookkeepers record every purchase and sale that a business makes, in the order that they take place, in (1)… . At a later date, these temporary records are entered in or (2)… to the relevant account book or (3)… . Of course the "books" these days are likely to be computer files. At the end of an accounting period, all the relevant totals are (4)… to the profit and loss account. (5)… bookkeeping records the dual effect of every transaction – a value both received and parted with. Payments made or (6) … are entered on the left-hand (debtor) side of an account, and payments received or (7)… on the right-hand side. Bookkeepers will periodically do a (8) … to test whether both sides of an account book match.
Auditors are usually independent certified accountants who review the financial record of a company. These reviews are called audits. They are usually performed at fixed intervals – quarterly, semiannually or annually. Auditors are employed either regularly or on a part-time basis. Some large companies maintain a continuous internal audit by their own accounting departments. These auditors are called internal auditors.
Not so many years ago the presence of an auditor suggested that a company was having financial difficulties or that irregularities had been discovered in the records. Currently, however, outside audits are a normal and regular part of business practice.
Auditors see that current transactions are recorded promptly and completely. Their duty is to reduce the possibility of misappropriation, to identify mistakes or detect fraudulent transactions. Then they are usually requested to propose solutions for these problems.
Accuracy; Annual General Meeting; board of directors; checking; deficiencies; determine; deviations, directives; external; implemented; ratifies; shareholder (GB) or stockholders (US); standard operating procedures; subsidiaries; a synonym; transnational corporations
The traditional definition of auditing is a review and evaluation of financial records by a second set of accountants. An internal audit is a control by a company’s own accountants, checking for completeness (1) exactness and reliability. Among other things, internal auditors are looking for (2) departures from (3) a firm’s established methods for recording business transactions. In most countries, the law requires all firms to have their accounts audited by an outside company. An (4) independent audit is thus a review of financial statements and accounting records by an accountant not belonging to the firm. The auditors have to (5) judge whether the accounts give what in Britain is known as a “true and fair view” and in the US as a “fair presentation” of the company’s (corporation’s) financial position. Auditors are appointed by a company’s (6) most senior executives and advisors, whose choice has to be (7) approved by the (8) owners of the company’s equity at the (9) company’s yearly assembly. Auditors write an official audit report. They may also address a “management letter” to the directors, outlining (10) inadequacies and recommending improved operating procedures. This leads to the more recent use of the word “audit” as (11) an equivalent term for “control”.
(12) Multinational companies, for example, might undertake inventory, marketing, and technical audits. Auditing in this sense means (13) verifying that general management (14) instructions are being (15) executed in branches (16) companies which they control, etc.
Add appropriate words to these phrases:
10. Auditors … company’s accounts.
11. Accounts have to … a fair presentation.
12. Auditors write a …
13. It’s the directors who … the auditors.
14. Auditors sometimes … better accounting procedures.
15. Using external auditors is a … requirement.
The term “asset” means anything of value that is owned by a company and can be expressed in terms of money. Economic resources that provide a potential future service to the organization are called assets in accounting. A company’s total assets include such items as cash, buildings, equipment, any other property and accounts receivable, that is, money owned by its customers.
Assets are usually classified as current and long-term, both types consisting of tangible as well as of intangible items. Current tangible assets including cash, accounts receivable, stock-in-trade are usually converted into cash within one year and sometimes can be used as a means of payment. On the other hand, current intangible assets consist of short-term investments in stocks and bonds.
Long-term intangible assets are not really visible and include such items as goodwill, patents, trademarks, copyrights, these assets often being the most important factor for obtaining future incomes. For example, goodwill means an intangible asset which takes into account the value added to a business as a result of its reputation which cannot be really calculated. In contrast, the real estate (such as farm land, machinery, buildings and other physical objects) belongs to long-term tangible assets.
Liabilities are obligations that a company owes to another organization, to an individual (such as creditors and employees) or to the government. Like assets, liabilities are divided into current and long-term ones. Current liabilities are usually amounts that are paid within one year, including accounts payable, taxes on income and property, short-term loans, salaries and wages, and amounts of money owed to suppliers of goods and services. Noncurrent liabilities often called long-term are usually debts, such as bonds and long-term loans.
The amount by which the total assets exceed total liabilities is known as the net worth which is usually called the equity for companies. When the company is a corporation, the equity means the investment interest of the owners (that is, the stockholders) in the organization’s assets. The owners’ equity can be increased either by investing more money in the company or by earning a profit and can be decreased because of the company’s losses.
All companies keep proper accounting system in order to know whether or not they are operating profitably, each of the assets and the liabilities and the equity being shown in a company’s accounts separately. The balance sheet prepared by the company’s accountant is one of the important financial reports showing the value of the total assets, total liabilities and equity on a given date. The relationship of these main categories is represented by the fundamental accounting equation: assets (everything that is owned) are equal to liabilities (owed) plus equity (clear of debt).
ASSETS = LIABILITIES + EQUITY
As all three factors are expressed in terms of money, they are limited to items that can be given a monetary value. The accounting equation should always be in balance, so that one side must equal the other.
Terms – условия
Current – текущий
Trademark – торговая марка
Copyright – авторское право
Clear of debt – без долга
Questions to the text:
In accounting, the process of allocating in a systematic and rational manner the cost of certain items of the assets (these are mainly capital assets) over the period of its useful life is known as depreciation. There are three main types of depreciation causing the decrease in value of an asset: 1) physical depreciation, 2) moral depreciation, 3) deterioration (порча, повреждение, износ).
However, capital assets are also subject to moral depreciation, that is after serving for some period of time, they may become obsolete (устаревший) before they are physically worn out and have to be replaced by more up-to-date means of production. Such obsolescence (изношенность) of the assets is caused by technological changes and by the introduction of new and better machinery and methods of production. Obsolescence can also be cause by the commodity produced by the asset, for example, if it goes out of fashion. In the later case, the degree of obsolescence will depend on the specific nature of the asset. Sometimes assets can be easily adapted to alternative uses while others may have only one application.
Deterioration means a change in value of an asset because of the effects of nature, for example, for machinery this might be rust (ржавчина), for buildings it is connected with decadence (ухудшение), for farm lands it is caused by erosion.
In accounting, it is important to know depreciation of the capital assets as it increases the company’s expenses, so two main methods are used by accountants in calculating periodic depreciation. The most widely used is the straight-line method (метод равномерного исчисления износа) , in which the rate of depreciation is constant for the entire working life of the capital assets. According to the second method known as accelerated depreciation method (ускоренный метод исчисления износа), the depreciation rate in the first years of asset use is greater than in the later years.
Wage, symbol, quantity, depreciation, intangible, form, gradually, price, invisible, obligation, employee, shape, trademark, value, to own, to replace, to owe, slowly, tangible, obsolescence, salary, to change, worker, to be obliged, to possess, liability, material, amount
For management of any company to be efficient, extensive and accurate information concerning receipts and payments, assets and liabilities, depreciation of assets and other data about company status are required. Such information being obtained mainly from different records, additional funds and time should be invested in bookkeeping and accounting system.
In general, accounting and bookkeeping mean identifying, measuring, recording economic information about any business, bookkeeping being considered the preliminary stage and part of the larger field of accounting.
The task of a bookkeeper is to ensure the record-keeping of accounting and therefore to provide the data to which accounting principles are applied in the preparation of financial statements. Bookkeeping provides the basic accounting data by systematical recording such day-to-day financial information as income from the sale of products or services, expenses of business operations such as the cost of the goods sold and overhead expenses (накладные расходы) such as a rent, wages, salaries.
Accounting principles determine which financial events and transactions should be recorded in the bookkeeper's books. The analysis and interpretation of these records is the primary function of accounting. The various financial statements produced by accountants then provide managers with the basis for future financial planning and control, and provide other interested parties (investors, the government) with useful information about the company.
Modern accounting system is considered to be a seven-step cycle. The first three steps fall under the bookkeeping function, such as: 1) the systematic recording of financial transactions; 2) the transferring of the amounts from various journals to general ledger (also called "posting step"); 3) the drawing up of the trial balance.
Record keeping of companies is based on a double-entry system, due to which each transaction is recorded on the basis of its dual impact on the company's financial position. To make a complete bookkeeping record of every transaction in a journal, one should consider interrelated aspects of every transaction, and entries must be made in different accounts to keep the ins (receipts) and outs (payments) balanced.
Thus, double-entry bookkeeping doesn't mean that the same transaction is entered twice, it means that the same amount of money is always debited to one account and credited to another account, each record having its own effect on the whole financial structure of the company. Certain accounts are increased with debits and decreased with credits, while other accounts are increased with credits and decreased with debits.
In the second step in the accounting cycle, the amounts from the various journals are usually monthly transferred to the company's general ledger — a procedure called posting. Posting data to the ledgers is followed by listing the balances of all the accounts and calculating whether the sum of all the debit balances agrees with the sum of all the credit balances. This procedure known as the drawing up of a trial balance and those that follow it usually take place at the end of the fiscal year. By making a trial balance, the record-keeping accuracy can be checked. The trial balance having been successfully prepared, the bookkeeping portion of the accounting cycle is completed.
The double-entry system of bookkeeping enables every company to determine at any time the value of each item that is owned, how much of this value belongs to creditors, the total profit and how much belongs to the business clear of debt. Thus, one advantage of the double-entry system is that its information is complete enough to be used as the basis for making business decisions. Another advantage is that errors are readily detected, since the system is based on equations that must always be in balance.
Questions to the text:
The international balance of payments for a country (известен) as a statement of financial transactions that (имели место) between residents of one country and the rest of the world over a period of one year. By (используя) the word “resident” economists (подразумевают) the citizens and their government.
The statement (показывает) both payments of all kinds (сделанные) by a country and its receipts from all other countries. In (подготавливая) a balance of payments one (следует рассмотреть) two main accounts: the current account and the capital account (счёт движения капитала)ю The former (регистрирует) the balance trade in goods and services plus net profits of income (заработанных) from assets owned in other currencies. International transactions in financial assets, that is, net purchases and sales of assets are listed in the capital account. The latter (состоит из) long-term and short-term investments.
Thus, the balance sheet of payments (включает) information (касающуюся) the net inflow of money to the country due to transactions (совершенных) by individuals, firms and the government under (существующих) market conditions, monetary inflows being recorded as credits. In contrast, monetary outflow (регистрируются) as debits. The balance of payments (является) either in surplus or in deficit when there is either a net inflow of money or outflow of money.
This statement (содержит) detailed data of the transactions that individuals (желают совершить) in (импорте, экспорте, покупках или продажах) foreign assets. It (показывает) the amount of transactions that government wish to make in the form of foreign aid (transfer payments to foreigners), military spending (maintaining military bases abroad), etc.
Используя текст, закончите следующие предложения:
Each time an item is purchased or sold, a bookkeeper performs the first three steps of the cycle and passes on the information to the accountant who carries out the last four steps, such as: 1) calculate adjustments; 2) prepare adjusted trial balance; 3) prepare financial statements; 4) close entries (закрыть счета, свести отчетность). The most common reasons the accountant should consider preparing adjustments are the following: increased revenue (for example, interest earned but not yet received); any government taxes or employee salaries that have not yet been paid; the value of the office supplies that have been used (electricity, water, etc.); depreciation of the assets; changes in the inventory (зд. товарно-материальные ценности), etc. As to inventory, it involves the physical measurement, counting and evaluation of items for sale. Inventory evaluation is subject to a variety of accounting methods, since many inventory items cannot be specifically calculated. The grain in a grain elevator, for example, comes from different sources and may have been bought at several prices. An accountant must choose between one of the several methods for valuing the grain; each will provide a slightly different value figure. On the fifth step when the adjustments are calculated, the accountant prepares an adjusted trial balance that combines the original trial balance with the effects of the adjustments. The balances in the accounts are the data that make up the organization’s financial statements as a balance sheet and an income statement. The preparation of these statements is considered to be the main purpose of the sixth step. The final step comprises a series of bookkeeping debits and credits to transfer sums from income statement accounts into the owners’ equity accounts, and thus into capital. Such transfers reduce to zero the balance of all accounts; therefore the accounting books will be ready for the next accounting period.
Accounting provides informational access to a company's financial condition for three broad interest groups. First, it gives the company's management the information to evaluate financial performance over a previous period of time, and to make decisions regarding the future. Second, it informs the general public, and in particular those who are interested in buying its stock, about the financial position of the company. Third, accounting provides reports for the tax and regulatory departments (отделы по налогообложению и регулированию деятельностью компании) of the government. In general, accounting information can be classified into two main categories: financial accounting (or public information) and managerial accounting (or private information).
Managerial accounting deals with cost and profit relationships, efficiency and productivity, planning and control, pricing decisions, capital budgeting, etc. Not being generally spread outside the company, this information provides a wide variety of specialized reports for division managers, department heads, project directors.
A standard set of financial statements is expected to be prepared regularly by financial accounting and published in an annual report at the end of the fiscal year. Being prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, these statements include the following items: 1) the balance sheet, 2) the statement of cash flows, 3) the income statement, 4) the statement of retained earnings.
Information relating to the financial position of a company, mainly about assets and liabilities, is presented in a balance sheet. The statement of cash flows shows the changes in the company's financial position and provides information which is not available in either an income statement or a balance sheet. Thus, the statement of cash flows represents the sources and the uses of the company's funds for operating activities (управленческая деятельность), applications of working capital and data about additional financial support. Provided the company couldn't generate sufficient cash to finance its activities, it would be necessary to borrow money and it should be indicated in the statement.
Another financial statement disclosing the results of the company's activity is known as the income and expense statement. Prepared for a defined time interval, this statement summarizes the company's revenues, expenses, gains and losses and shows whether a company has made a profit within the period. Income is considered to be the difference between revenues and expenses. If the total expenses exceeded the total revenues during the period, the difference would be the net loss of the company. Revenues are transactions that represent the inflow of assets as a result of operations — that is, the assets received from selling goods and rendering services. Expenses are transactions involving the outflow of assets in order to generate revenue, such as wages, salaries, rent, interest and taxes. In addition to disclosing revenues and expenses, the income statement also lists gains and losses from other kinds of transactions such as the sale of plant assets or the payments of long-term liabilities.
The income statement excludes the amount of assets withdrawn by the owners, in a corporation such withdrawal of assets being called dividends. The separate statement of retained earnings and stockholder's equity shows investors what has happened to their ownership in the company, how earnings and new stock issuance have increased its value, and what dividends were paid.
Each of these reports contains figures for previous years and for the current period, providing a way of comparing present and past company performance. Being prepared for the use of management, the financial statements contain neither debit nor credit columns. These statements are accompanied by additional data about the particular accounting method used, as well as explanations about the most important events within the previous year.
Questions to the text:
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