Was re-thinking this when I realized I already put out this post earlier…:
Accountants of the certifying kind are still searching for their purpose. In life but moreover, in business reality.
Which isn’t too strange. They exist only for a couple of centuries, so at the speed of thinking they do, now is about the right time to do a second round of thought about their role.
To start off, accountants [from here, I presume them to refer to the external auditors of the annual financial statements] were involved in checking all detailed financial data as well as seeing these represented in a standardised form into the annual statements. These annual statements had not very, very much flexibility, (so / because) any statement’s line item had a quite limited interpretation space. Sort of XBRL avant la lettre, in practice.
But since, data representation standards have complexified so much that there is no ‘standard’…
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