The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every part of the U.S. and global economies, notably including the losses and gains of companies of every size and type. The purpose of this research was to conduct a thorough comparative analysis of 10K financial statements from 50 prominent U.S.-based corporations from the years 2019 and 2020. The study entailed examining the “language of accounting” used in the financial statements, as well as identifying how corporate accountants used the concepts of comparable numbers, time, transparency, and context in their reports. Analysis of the language of accounting uses a linguistic lens, focusing on the primary sources of information, the use of particular terms, and the meaning of numbers in different contexts. Interpreting meaning from the language of accounting requires finding comparable numbers. The stronger the comparison, the more meaning is obtained, with less information, asymmetry results. This study specifically explored how accountants use the concept of time and how that affects the meaning of numbers from period to period. By identifying the lack of consistency between the meaning of the numbers and the structure and timing of the financial reports, this research brings transparency to financial reporting. It describes the semantics of accounting language by placing comparable numbers, time, and transparency into context. In contextualizing the data, this research allocates and directly relates the results of the COVID-19 pandemic on corporate financial data and helps consumers more accurately understand losses and gains.
Al Jurf, Majd
Accounting Language and the Meaning of Comparative Numbers, Time, Transparency, and Context.
Undergraduate Review, 16, 26-39.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/undergrad_rev/vol16/iss1/7
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