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B) Present them in a short review and compare the information and viewpoints in Text (a) and Text (b)

Ex. 12. a) Read the texts and single out the main facts.


a)For many years the accounting system in Russia was criticized by Western academicians for its failure to adhere to Western accounting principles. Such criticism is no longer valid. Since the early 1990s, accounting in the Russian Federation has changed significantly.

The year 1991 was crucial in accounting development in Russia due to the following three events:

a) Publication of the new Chart of Accounts;

b) Production of a new set of financial statements similar to those used in Western accounting;

c) Beginning of preparations for radical change in accounting and auditing regulation.

In 1992, Regulation on Accounting and Reporting in the Russian Federation was approved by decree of the Government of Russia. The document diminished the control function of accounting and declared the following equal objectives of accounting:

1) Maintenance of control over the availability, movement, and use of material, manpower and monetary resources according to approved norms and estimates;

2) Provision of full and reliable information about the performance and financial results of an enterprise, which is indispensible for operational management as well as for investors, suppliers, customers and creditors, tax, financial, and bank authorities, and others interested in the financial and business activity of the enterprise.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that an essentially new Russian accounting system has come into being with the introduction of the new Chart of Accounts which includes greater cohesion to international accounting norms.

The essential elements of accounting methodology are as follows:

• Documents form the legal foundation for recording transactions according to the approved rules of bookkeeping. No entry should be made unless the bookkeeper has the primary document.

• Taking inventory is the sole means of controlling the physical safety of assets and their valuation. It is the main method of supervising persons who are financially responsible for assets. The safeguarding of assets is always entrusted to a financially responsible person.

• The uniform Chart of Accounts, which provides the nomenclature of accounts and correspondence among them, must be used by all types of enterprises.

• Double entry is a traditional accounting concept that is accepted in Russia as it is in all developed countries.

• Internal reporting includes the general ledger, summary (principal) account registers, primary documents, inventory data, etc. External reporting includes the Balance Sheet, Statement of Financial Results and Their Uses, and supplemental forms that are uniform and obligatory for all types of enterprises. Nonprofit organizations and banks have their own uniform charts of accounts and financial reporting forms. Reporting is carried out according to the statutory regulation and presented within strictly prescribed time limits.

• Information generated by the accounting system must be timely, reliable, full, accurate, and objective.

• Historical cost accounting is the only method of internal and external reporting permitted.

Words you may need:

adherev придерживаться, оставаться верным принципам

accounting principlesпринципы бухучета

validadj имеющий силу, юридически действительный

indispensibleadj необходимый, незаменимый

cohesionn связь

primary documentпервичный документ

taking inventoryинвентаризация

soleadj единственный

financially responsible personматериально-ответственное лицо

nomenclaturen номенклатура (перечень наименований)

correspondencen корреспонденция (счетов)

internal reportingвнутренняя отчетность

general ledgerглавная бухгалтерская книга

summary account registerсводный журнал

inventory dataинвентарные данные

external reportingвнешняя отчетность

Statement of Financial Results and Their UsesОтчет о финансовых результатах и их использовании

financial reporting formбланк финансовой отчетности

historical cost accountingучет на основе стоимости приобретения

b)From an international perspective, it is important to remember that while based on similar principles, Russian accounting does not fully meet international accounting standards (IAS). The main differences are as follows:

• Salesare usually recorded on a cash basis. The cost of goods/services delivered but not yet paid for remains on the balance sheet until payment is received. Most Russian taxes are sales-based. As a result, companies try to minimize sales in their accounts. When sales are recorded on a cash basis, allowances are not made for bad debt, in spite of the fact that bad debts may represent a considerable share of accounts receivable. Sales figures for Russian companies tend to be understated compared with the accrual sales of Western companies.

• Cost of goods sold. Russian companies report the full cost of goods sold, which includes production costs, transportation, depreciation, marketing, and financial expenses. No cost items are disclosed separately. Social costs are not included in the cost of goods sold.

• Depreciation:Only a straight-line depreciation method is allowed. The depreciation rates are fixed by the government and are as a rule significantly lower than in the West. Accelerated straight-line depreciation has been permitted since January 1, 1995 but is still rarely used.

• Fixed assets:Fixed assets pose the most serious problem. Fixed assets are accounted for at historical cost and cover property, plant and equipment. Land is not treated as a fixed asset and does not appear on the balance sheet at all. Even if depreciation rates are lower than in the West, fixed assets are generally undervalued compared with Western practice.

• Accounts receivable:Since most Russian companies record sales when they receive payment, the sales margin is not accrued until that time. Therefore accounts receivable are understated given that the sales margin is not reflected. Overdue accounts receivable are not disclosed separately.

• Consolidation of accounts.Russian companies, including holding companies, are not required to submit consolidated reports. No consolidation standards have been established yet. Some of the holding companies prepare aggregated reports, summing up 100% of all subsidiaries and associates without accounting for intragroup transactions and minorities. Consequently, the reported results of Russian holding companies are usually significantly overstated.

All other aspects of Russian accounting are basically in line with IAS. The Russian government is taking measures to eliminate the most serious divergences.

Words you may need:

bad debtsбезнадежные долги

accounts receivableдебиторская задолженность

straight-line depreciation methodметод равномерного начисления износа

accelerated straight-line depreciation methodметод ускоренного начисления износа

sales marginдоход от продаж

overdueadj просроченный

consolidation of accountsконсолидация счетов

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