(AND REVOLUTION) OF THE
Edwin A. Lewis Manager, New York Office
Presented before the Queens College Accounting Society, Flushing, New York-October 1974
During this past year there have been numerous developments in accounting theory and financial reporting. Responding to a changing social environment, increasing pressure from the financial community and sometimes criticism from the press and from governmental authorities, our profession has recently taken giant steps to improve financial reporting in order to give investors more meaningful information on a more timely basis. Since mid-1973 there has been a proliferation of accounting pronouncements by both the private and the governmental sectors of the profession. The New York Stock Exchange has issued its "White Paper" report; the Securities and Exchange Commission has promulgated substantive new disclosure requirements for financial statements filed with the Commission; and the Financial Accounting Standards Board, replacing the Accounting Principles Board as the senior technical rule-making body of the accounting profession, has issued its first standards.
These pronouncements make it quite evident that the accounting profession is going through an unprecedented evolutionary process. In many ways the change might more aptly be characterized as revolutionary. The following discussion concentrates on the factors previously mentioned as being indicative of these rapid changes. The New York Stock Exchange, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Accounting Standards Board are three of the most powerful forces in the financial community, each with the ability to dictate changes in financial reporting, when such changes are considered to be in the best interests of the users of financial statements.
NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE
In December 1973 the Exchange published its White Paper "Recommendations
and Comments on Financial Reporting to Shareholders and Related Matters." It recommended that corporate management develop new levels of excellence in financial reporting to stockholders and outlined certain other