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By William H. Webster, CPA

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Both are often conducted simultaneously. S. business revenue. A small percentage of owners make off with the most money, but employees are the most active. Since we have just learned about the materiality constraint, ask yourself if 6% of revenue is worth trying to recover. Yes, the cost/benefit constraint does kick in. Position Percent Volume Owner 12% $1,000,000 Management 30% $250,000 Employee 58% $60,000 Table 2-2. Business fraud loss A series of best practices have developed over time to control internal fraud.

These standards are called Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). GAAP provides a common language. The users of financial statements feel secure that the numbers in statements issued in New York can be compared with numbers issued in California. This common language of 26 Copyright 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click Here for Terms of Use. That includes culture: each country’s cultural traits will affect the development of its Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. The Japanese cultural trait for cooperation and the existence of interlocking directorships has influenced the type and amount of information that must be revealed or not revealed to the general public.

But keep at it. A good manager will check over his or her financial statements every month or at least every quarter. Once you understand them, financial statements help you keep the pulse of your business. If you look at them regularly, they also help you see changes as they happen, so you can catch problems before they become too big to handle. In our example, the company started on June 1, 2003, with no assets or liabilities in each account. Can you trace every item on the balance sheet for June 5, 2003 to an item on the income and expense statement for June 1 to 5, 2003 (called “month-to-date”)?

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