Best of 2006: Accounting

Are you up-to-date on all the accounting developments of 2006? Here is our editors' selection of the most popular accounting articles of the year.

The most common causes of financial restatements are “simple misapplications of GAAP” and bad bookeeping. At least, that’s what Scott Taub, then the deputy chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said in a speech this fall.

Perhaps. But keeping up with GAAP is far from “simple” these days. From a new standard that forces companies to book future environmental cleanup costs now, to a tax accounting rule that gives the IRS an audit roadmap to your company, accounting has never been more complex.

The big accounting stories in 2006, of course, revolved around pension and leases. But sleeper issues like Fin 47, new guidance on how to deal with cumulative errors, and Congressional interest in eliminating LIFO also got plenty of attention from readers. Below is our editors’ selection of the most popular articles.

To see all of our accounting coverage, check out the accounting section of our archive.

FIN 47: The Future Is Now

Under the new standard, many companies may have to book future cleanup costs, whether or not they can be ascertained today.

How Much is that Error on the Books?

Following new SEC guidance, companies have a new way to ‘fess up on errors in their next 10-K.

Accountants: Going Once, Going Twice

Bring your auction paddle and get ready to bid for finance help.

Securitization: Cash Flow on Tap

A popular financing technique, sometimes criticized for its off-balance-sheet treatment, may be skewing cash-flow statements too, says a new report.

Up on Cripple Creek, a New Kind of Gold

An obscure accounting rule, combined with a shortage of urban real estate, is creating a rush to reclaim contaminated land. Now one company that made its fortune in the gold-rush era is cashing in again.

Execs Letters Rip FASB Pension Draft

The proposed statement by the accounting board could upset companies’ annual budgeting and create chaos at year’s end, employers contend.

Simplifying Accounting Is No Simple Task

A recent FASB proposal allowing fair value measurement is too complicated, say critics who normally support such measures.

Gift Cards and Revenue Recognition

For retailers, these cards can be a gift that keeps on giving, although sometimes, what they give is accounting headaches.


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