American accounting contains an awkward contradiction. Though 99.7 percent of the country's 4.9 million corporations are privately held, a good deal of the country's generally accepted accounting principles are primarily relevant to the financial conditions of public companies traded on equities markets.

Meeting GAAP requirements can mean a lot of time, trouble and expense with little meaningful purpose. For years there has been a call for some kind of "Big GAAP-Little GAAP" system that would ease requirements for companies of a certain kind or size.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access