We’re not sure if we’re having another epiphany, or merely looking at the world a little bit differently, but we have some thoughts on an area of accounting practice and theory that we’d like to share with you.Specifically, we’re looking deeper at the worthiness of comparability as a goal for financial reporting information. As we described in a recent column questioning the wisdom of merging all standard-setting authority in one body, it has been traditionally assumed that useful information helps users compare competing investment opportunities. Think of this notion of comparability as Company A and Company B balanced on a seesaw, suggesting that the investor’s decision is between buying one company’s stock or the other’s.
Although this idea has significantly shaped accounting thought for decades, we think it’s time to supplant it with something else.
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