By James L. Gibson, W. Warren Haynes

Accounting in Small company Decisions offers the 1st large-scale empirical exam of the way small agencies use accounting facts to make working judgements.

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The extent to which the budget is formalized varies widely. 5. Accounting is not used by the stores covered in this study as a source of programed incremental cost data. When decisions require cost data, the merchants make ad hoc studies of anticipated costs. 6. Particular attention is given to suppliers' "estimated profitability" studies. This practice indicates that the store managements consider such studies relevant for merchandising decisions. It raises the question of why the same retailers do not make studies of their own.

One of the firms goes to a great deal of trouble to keep time records on various categories of business, but the management complains that the employees do not make accurate entries. 3. A difficult conceptual problem of allocating the costs of the land occurs, especially when land values are changing rapidly, as is true for those nurseries located near cities. Similarly, the allocation of other overhead costs, such as management time, presents problems. 4. The problem of how to treat the costs of destroyed materials is difficult to solve.

1. The Incremental Principle: a decision is sound if it increases revenue more than costs, or if it reduces costs more than revenue. A decision involves change, often in both costs and revenues. The incremental principle simply states that it is necessary to compare incremental costs with incremental revenues. This means that average costs, or full costs, and average revenues are not the proper focus of attention. Our case studies show, however, that many decisions are, in fact, based on average or full costs and that this practice is not always in conflict with the incremental principle.

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Accounting in Small Business Decisions by James L. Gibson, W. Warren Haynes


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