International Accounting

Johann Schär and Paul Gerstner: The contribution to the development of financial reporting analysis methods

Vol. 21, Iss. 2, FEBRUARY 2018

Received: 28 November 2017

Received in revised form: 14 December 2017

Accepted: 26 December 2017

Available online: 15 February 2018


JEL Classification: A11, B31, M41

Pages: 238–250

Skrynskaya O.A. Saint-Petersburg Electrotechnical University (ETU), St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

ORCID id: not available

Importance The research traces the way of financial reporting analysis methods. I deal with proceedings, which were previously analyzed from perspectives of their contribution to the accounting theory.
Objectives The research identifies financial reporting analysis methods proposed by representatives of the German balance sheet studies in the early 20th century. I compare them with modern methods.
Methods The abstraction and logic approach is a methodological underpinning of the research. I unfold my hypothesis stating that financial statements were considered not only as a means of the owner's property control, but also the corporate model in the early 20th century. Although there were not uniform financial reporting forms, methods for its analysis were being developed. The research involves general scientific methods, such as observation, comparison, grouping, analysis and synthesis, logic method.
Results I analyzed works by J.F. Sch?r, Buchhaltung und Bilanz, and P. Gerstner, Bilanz-Schl?ssel – Anleitung zur kritischen Betrachtung ver?ffentlichter Bilanzen. Their financial reporting interpretation methods were compared with modern ones.
Conclusions and Relevance I identified the financial reporting analysis methods proposed by the above authors. Most of the methods proposed currently constitute the financial reporting analysis system. The modern approach to financial reporting analysis was pioneered by the German school of balance sheet studies in the early 20th century. Considering the evolution of accounting data interpretation methods, financial statements had been regarded for information purposes even before their standardized forms emerged.

Keywords: history, balance sheet, classification, liquidity, profitability


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