Many lawyers, especially those dealing with commercial matters, need to understand accounting yet feel on shaky ground in the area. This book is written specifically for them. It breaks down and makes clear basic concepts (such as the difference between profit and cash flow), the accounting profession and the legal and regulatory framework within which accounting operates. The relevant provisions of the Companies Act 1985 are discussed at some length. Holgate explains generally accepted accounting principles in the UK (GAAP), the trend towards global harmonisation and the role of international accounting standards. He then deals with specific areas such as group accounts, acquisitions, tax, leases, pensions, financial instruments, and realised profits, focusing in each case on those aspects that are likely to confront lawyers in their work. This book will appeal to the general practitioner as well as to lawyers working in corporate, commercial, and tax law.
Peter Holgate is Senior Accounting Technical Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the UK.
Part I. The Accounting Environment: 1. Introduction; 2. UK GAAP and international harmonisation; 3. The legal framework for accounting; 4. Substance over form; 5. The accounting profession and the regulatory framework for accounting and auditing; 6. Communicating accounting information; 7. Current trends in accounting; Part II. Some specifics: 8. Individual entity accounts and consolidated accounts; 9. Mergers and acquisitions; 10. Interaction of accounting with tax; 11. Assets; 12. Liabilities; 13. Leases; 14. Pensions; 15. Financial instruments, including capital instruments; 16. Realised and distributable profits; 17. Disclosures in published accounts; 18. Use of financial information in contracts and agreements; Appendices: 1. List of UK accounting standards (SSAPs and FRSs); 2. List of international accounting standards (IASs and IFRSs).